Transparency. Nonprofit, for-profit, nongovernmental, and government video thumbnail of Don Tapscott in The Transparency in the Networked Ageorganizations of all sizes are encountering this term in everything they own and touch. Regulators, activists (such as Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks colleagues), and consumers are all fueling the call for free and easy public access to corporate information. And in an era of the Internet, mobile computing, and real-time analytics that can process an incredible volume of data within seconds, it’s easier than ever to uncover even the most secretive and secured documentation.

Brands are now forced to move from an attitude of having nothing to hide to proactively showing and proving they have nothing to hide. And they must go even further beyond lofty statements about their value and culture to real, distinct, and clear statements on actual results that can be proven in a court of law.

No, not all consumers are demanding transparency. But as total transparency becomes a basic hygiene factor, even those who don’t request it will expect brands to prove their ethical and environmental credentials to those who do care.

Turn transparency into an ally for competitive advantage

But the responsibility of remaining transparent does not have to be all doom and gloom for businesses and agencies. According to Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology, the move from a business model of opacity to transparency can be positive and transformational.

For example, businesses are taking real-time information and the power to collaborate across the organizations, as well as suppliers and customers, to front-line workers. As a result, they can make pinpoint process and delivery issues, make adjustments to resolve them, and determine which products best fit customer needs and desires. This information also give consumers the power to make sure businesses and agencies provide the products and services they want – where, how, and when they “need” it.

Hear Don Tapscott’s thoughts on how networks that enable transparency are becoming a huge force in building a better organization – and best of all, a better world:

What do you think? Do you agree with Don Tapscott?