A couple of things recently have brought to mind the phrase "smoke and mirrors" or in other words, things are not what they seem.
One person asked me about the digitization industry and how businesses are doing. Businesses always put on a good front, but what's really going on? What do the special deals and price cuts mean? Does the business seem too anxious to get your contract (work)? It can be hard for a business to be transparent...they aren't going to show you their financial records...so you can wonder if what you're seeing is truly good or "smoke and mirrors".
On the other side, organizations put out requests for proposal that seem to leave questions unanswered. The clues about their reality are in there, but will you recognize them? Could they be more transparent? Would they receive better proposals if they were?
And then there are programs that use a bit of "smoke and mirrors" in order to obscure they scope of what they have done. They feel that admitting that the scope of the project was bounded by X, Y and Z may make people think less of it. Yet if they were more transparent, people would understand the project more.
Smoke isn't permanent and so the truth will be revealed eventually. Mirrors can distort the truth, but they can also reflect the truth so clearly that it cannot be ignored. Wouldn't it be nice if we all just decided to be more transparent and truthful?