The exposure of military documents on Wikileaks and the coverage through the media has once again put openness at the centre of the debate.
To what extent should Governments keep information secret? What should they keep from public view and what should they make available? On what basis is that understanding/agreement made?
Governments need to understand that the world is becoming more open and people are able to access information far more easily than they could previously.
The amount of data which is now available is unsettling. The default position of most organisations is that they only make certain information available in response to regulators or recognised third parties ie when they are obliged to do so. Still people continue to have unprecedented access to information on products and services which can help to de-stablilise excessively repressive regimes. Look at how the youth of Iran have previously responded using mobile technologies to express themselves.
Some companies though are realising that being open is a precondition to building trust and having more productive relationships with their customers, partners and stakeholders. Opening up data and inviting contributions can in certain contexts create a more healthy and productive result, paving the way for innovation and collaboration.
This debate hasn’t really started yet…but the trend of openness/transparency will be a key theme going forward and one that organisations need to continue to factor into their thinking and strategies.