Inc.'s editor-in-chief talks to a CEO about how his company changed its information sharing policy after going public.
"It's like having someone go through your panty drawer. You have to explain why you wear cotton on Monday and lace on Wednesday."
-- Lannie Bernhard, president of newly public Nursing Management, explaining how she feels when answering to Wall Street analysts
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As a new generation of companies goes public we wonder what effect Securities and Exchange Commission regulations will have on the burgeoning trend toward sharing financial information with employees. Consider the case of Mike Dunham, who took Milwaukee-based Effective Management Systems public back in February. Despite very bad timing, Dunham claims the experience has been "educational." One lesson: he has to be much more careful about giving his employees the numbers. Among other things, he now reviews the financials with employees just four times a year, down from six before the initial public offering. He also has to compartmentalize the information in a way he never had to when the company was private.