A secret weapon, in its metaphorical or literal meaning, is a means that trumps the actual known ones. It brings a decisive advantage to its user/owner, is more effective and… unknown.
A secret weapon will create a surprise and grant its user a favorable opportunity to exploit, and if exploited properly can lead to victory.
Once the competition – in warfare or business – aware of the existence of a secret weapon, it will relentlessly try to gather information about it, destroy it or get one too in order to restore balance.
A good reason for the owner to keep on trying keeping it secret and competition to catch up. What eventually will happen.
On the other hand, at some moment it will be politically, strategically or “marketingly” smart to advertise on the competitive advantage and reveal the secret.
For those reasons a secret weapon can’t remain secret.
This is the case with Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), a “new” approach still somewhat “confidential”.
When we applied it to aircraft MRO and helped our client to halve the aircraft turnaround time, we helped our client to forge a competitive advantage. And when we wanted to advertise about the achievement, the client was reluctant to “give away his secret weapon”.
Well, I thought, how long do you think it will take for word of mouth to spread? How long before your sales team will boast about shorter aircraft grounding? How long before the information will leak via informal channels?
In business it is useless to waste energy trying to keep the secret weapon secret.
On the contrary, focus should be on exploiting the competitive advantage, advertising heavily on it and quickly reap as much profit as possible before competition closes the gap.