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Open Kimono


“Open Kimono” is a business term which means to reveal the inner workings of a project or company to an outsider or third party. It represents a philosophy of full transparency, where all relevant information, including sensitive or proprietary data, is shared openly. This can commonly happen during partnerships, collaborations, or investor relations.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Open Kimono” would be: /ˈoʊpən kɪˈmoʊnoʊ/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Open Kimono is a business term originating from Japan, which means sharing all information with no secrets. It denotes full transparency, particularly in business operations and communication.</li> <li>It is often used in contexts where full disclosure is necessary such as decision making, especially in business collaborations and teamwork. Open Kimono ensures all members are on the same page, fostering mutual trust and understanding.</li> <li>Although it cultivates a positive work environment, it can also present challenges. While some coworkers may appreciate the honesty and transparency, others may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the sheer volume of information shared. Therefore, appropriate judgement is key in implementing Open Kimono strategically.</li></ol>


The term “Open Kimono” is a colloquial phrase used in the business and finance sector to indicate a high level of transparency, especially while sharing detailed information during negotiations or deal discussions. It is important because it portrays a willingness to fully disclose relevant information, which can help build trust and facilitate stronger, more equitable business relationships. Transparency through this approach can often lead to better decision-making, since all parties involved are privy to the complete context and not just portions of the information. However, the term is sometimes viewed as discriminatory or culturally insensitive, necessitating mindful usage.


“Open Kimono” in finance or business parlance is a metaphor that signifies the concept of transparency and full disclosure. This idiom is predominantly used during thorough business proceedings such as mergers, acquisitions, or significant partnerships. It symbolizes a situation where a company unveils all its operational, financial, and strategic details to another party. This might include confidential information such as financial accounts, proprietary knowledge, business strategies, and other sensitive data that are typically not disclosed to the public or rivals. The primary purpose of “opening the kimono” lies within its potential to foster trust, devise informed decisions, and facilitate effective collaborations between businesses. When a company “opens its kimono,” it allows the other party to gain an exhaustive understanding of its business model, financial health, operational effectiveness, growth potential, and risks – thus enabling them to form a comprehensive evaluation. This level of transparency is particularly crucial during ventures like mergers and acquisitions (M&A) where investors require a deep understanding of an organization’s internal operation before committing to a decision. Ultimately, ‘Open Kimono’ is a strategy that can help businesses engender potential collaborations, secure investments, and negotiate better deals.


The term “Open Kimono” is a business slang that refers to revealing the inner workings of a company, typically during a strategic collaboration or investment evaluation. It means to share all relevant information openly.Here are three real-world examples:1. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) Deal: A company considering a merger or acquisition needs to examine all aspects of a potential target company. The target has to “open the kimono” and disclose their financial statements, business plans, intellectual property, contracts, and any potential issues, allowing for a full understanding before the transaction. For example, when Facebook acquired Instagram, Instagram would have had to fully disclose their information.2. Joint Venture Creation: When companies decide to join forces and create a joint venture, complete transparency is crucial. They need to employ the ‘open kimono’ approach and share information like business models, growth strategies, unique capabilities, and more. An example of this is the joint venture formed between Microsoft and General Electric’s subsidiary, GE Aviation. Both parties had to engage in extensive information sharing to successfully carry out the project.3. Investor Relations: In order to attract investors, companies must be transparent about their operations and financial positions. Potential investors want to see an ‘open kimono’ regarding things like revenue, margins, growth prospects, debt level, and risks before investing. This is routine practice for any company preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), for instance, Uber had to fully disclose its financial details prior to its public listing in 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Open Kimono mean in finance and business terms?

The term Open Kimono refers to a business strategy where all relevant information about a company’s operations are fully shared with potential partners, investors, or other interested parties. This can include financial statements, upcoming plans, or anything else pertinent to understanding the company’s situation and prospects.

When might a business choose to ‘Open Kimono’?

A company usually chooses to ‘Open Kimono’ if they are seeking new investors, planning a merger or partnership, or dealing with a crisis that requires trust and transparency. It can be a strategy to demonstrate honesty and build confidence among stakeholders.

Are there risks associated with the ‘Open Kimono’ strategy?

Yes, there can be risks connected with the ‘Open Kimono’ approach. The open sharing of detailed company information can give competitors an advantage or allow for exploitation if the shared information falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, most companies consider carefully who they plan on sharing this information with and ensure to adhere to any legal or industry privacy guidelines.

Is ‘Open Kimono’ an official financial term?

‘Open Kimono’ is not an official financial term. It’s more of a slang used in the business community. Nevertheless, its meaning is widely understood among industry professionals.

How did the term ‘Open Kimono’ originate?

The term ‘Open Kimono’ is believed to have come from Japanese culture where opening one’s Kimono would be a show of vulnerability and honesty. In a business context, this term signifies openness and transparency in revealing the financial and operational details of a company to interested parties.

Can the ‘Open Kimono’ strategy improve a company’s public image?

In many cases, an ‘Open Kimono’ approach can enhance a company’s image. Customers, investors, and partners often appreciate transparency, resulting in increased trust and confidence in the organisation. However, it can also backfire if the shared information raises concerns or spots issues about the company’s operations or financial health.

Does ‘Open Kimono’ strategy require legal obligations?

While sharing information can be beneficial, it’s important to keep in mind financial disclosure regulations and privacy laws. It’s recommended for companies to consult with legal advisers before initiating an ‘Open Kimono’ strategy.

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