The (Low) Price of Revealing "Secrets"

"Secret plans" are a hot topic given the godawful mess at HP. Yup, go to any length to preserve those secrets!! I've been less than a champion of the generic practice of strategic planning for decades. For a long while it was my signature stance. Perhaps my top Bizbook (along with Execution) in the last 20 years is unequivocally Canadian Guru Henry Mintzberg's The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. I just re-read part of it, and came across the following quote (so apropos in the wake of the "HP thing"). Russell Ackoff was arguably strategy guru #1 in the pre-Michael Porter days:

"Recently I asked three corporate executives what decisions they had made in the last year that would not have been made were it not for their corporate plans. All had difficulty identifying one such decision. Since all of the plans are marked 'secret' or 'confidential,' I asked them how their competitors might benefit from possession of their plans. Each answered with embarrassment that their competitors would not benefit."—Russell Ackoff

Once again, you'll find this as a Special Presentation attached. (And you'll also find a related Special Presentation on Patricia Dunn and Enron-Skilling juror Freddy Delgado.)

Tom Peters posted this on October 6, 2006, in Strategies.
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