A couple of interesting comments to the last post (as well as the original question) got me thinking some more. I’d like to go back to basics.
There are no specific practices and behaviors that are “lean principles.”
I believe the principles operate at a higher level. The principles have to do with creating a culture in which people naturally surface and solve problems, supported by the organizational and workplace structures.
In this case, “financial transparency” may, or may not, be found as an attribute of companies that are otherwise doing very well establishing this culture.
Financial transparency is a countermeasure, not a principle.
A countermeasure would be applied against a problem which, if not solved, prevents the organization from taking a step toward the ideal.
Some organizations’ paths may take them to or through a problem where financial transparency is the solution.
Some organizations may take other routes and never need to address that. For example, if they otherwise operate with 100% integrity, and there is solid trust.. is there a need to disclose everything?
So it is entirely possible that two, otherwise similar, organizations may have reached the same point on their journey by doing different things.
Now, there are some countermeasures which are nearly universal because they address issues nearly everyone has. (note that I say “nearly”.. never say “all” in this business.)
Without a culture of trust, for example, people in the organization really cannot contribute. They have to come to work, do exactly what they are told, and go home.. knowing full well that the things they did today are probably stupid. Doesn’t exactly help them feel like winners, does it?
But while financial transparency certainly reflects a degree of trust, it is neither necessary nor sufficient to generate it, and I guess that is the key point here.