Sales is a numbers game and my background is sales so when I started volunteering for SCORE I had the same problem of NOT prejudging as I did in sales. One of my, what is now a very long term client, came to me with a large sum of money (golden handshake) and an idea that seemed a little unrealistic to me. (Actually, more than a little unrealistic). WOW! Should I give her my opinion (which wasn’t asked for) or ask questions that would lead her to the right decision. The decision gods were with me and we moved forward with a business plan. My head started to turn around. We checked out the competition. I was surprised there WAS competition. (Made me think I may not be a bright as I thought I was.) Now 4 years later, she is looking for a second location. Scares me when I think what damage I could have done by prejudging. Same as in sales – clothes do not always make the woman! So, do you prejudge?
Confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”), as they are often called, play an important role in protecting your company’s trade secrets. When used in business-to-business collaboration they can lead to new product development and other opportunities for profit and growth. When used with employees, they make your trade secrets less portable when your employees decide to join a competitor or set up shop on their own.
Keeping it confidential not only protects your valuable information, but also third party information that is entrusted to you. That’s why “keeping it confidential” is one of my 12 Rules for Avoiding Smoking Guns.
Employees may not realize, for example, how quickly a confidential “tweet” on Twitter about an exciting project at work can turn into a smoking gun document and a lawsuit. Training can therefore go a long way towards making NDAs more robust and keeping your business safe.
For more information see www.legalliteracy.com.