Symbiosis in LOs LO11489

Ian Saunders (
Wed, 18 Dec 96 13:29 GMT0

Replying to LO11346 --

Picking up on a number of points relating to the thread of Sharing
information/keeping secrets/this grey area and Ricks question about what
would a business terms and conditions look like.

I would like to recount an experience and outline how I thought our terms
and conditions covered the situation and how the client clearly did not
see things the same way as I did.


A meeting at a large organisation. I was asked to sign a document
restricting any information discussed to the people present. On enquiry
about this seemly draconian requirement (it wasn't about anything secret,
only a clarity of objectives and relationship problem) was informed that
all meetings were minuted and a copy of these minutes sent to security so
that any leaks could be traced.

I felt somewhat surprised.[typical british understatement!!) This was
highlighted when I was informed that my terms and conditions were being
scrutinised by their lawyers and seemed not be sufficiently clear cut
about confidentiality.

At this point I became more assertive (from a position of "I can't believe
that his is going on"!!)

I stated that the first item on my business terms was "Integrity is of the
essence". Didn't this cover everything? This rather floored the senior
manager present. I said that integrity was the only way that I could do
business with them and as far as I was concerned the idea of leaking
information was incredible to me and the way I wanted to operate. He
clearly was in an organisation where integrity was an issue and he clearly
did not see the words integrity in the same light as I did. (At least not
with his organisational hat on)

I found the meeting extraordinary, would not particularly want to do work
there and would be interested to work there so that I had the opportunity
to try and influence it.

I have found that managing confidentiality is best done on a case by case
basis within the broader connect of upholding personal and organisational
integrity at all times. (and I am not perfect and sometimes, to my regret,
make mistakes).

So my terms have Integrity as the no 1 item. This seems to keep me clear
of too much hassle.

Ian Saunders
Transition Partnerships - Harnessing change for business advantage

-- (Ian Saunders)

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