The other day, Ian cited an FT journalist about stories and how people tend start to believe their own bullshit, according to this journalist. Obviously, he didn’t write that, but that’s what he implied:

“…there is a risk that corporate storytellers start to believe their own stories. To make a business narrative stick, leaders have to repeat it, reinforcing the story for themselves. What starts as a way or chief executives to guide and motivate staff, investors, customers and boards, becomes a plot from which they can not extricate themselves.”

This is interesting, because for a while, I have been in an ongoing conversation with a few people about the power of story and risk.

The way we look at it increasingly is that we need to redefine risk.

As the world becomes more fully transparent every day, corporations need to think about whether they want to “spin” a story or, alternatively, tell their authentic story, warts and all. To the point of accepting that they are probably no longer in control of how that story is told.

That means that risk becomes defined as the risk of transparency. If you have (almost) nothing to hide, there is (almost) no price tag to transparency. If you do, however, the cost can be enormous.

This surfaces an interesting dilemma.  If you are congruent the cost of transparency is low, and your agility is high. If you need compliance, the cost of transparency will be high. Probably, your agility will be lower too and the cost of enforcing governance and compliance will also be high.

What’s the cost of transparency for your organisation?

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