If you couldn’t tell by our name, here at ClearCompany we believe that a lot of strength can come from creating transparency in an organization. Transparency seems to be the aloe of the workforce –that one cure-all that has a positive ripple effect, reaching to the far corners of any business, small or big.
Management consultant, Oscar Berg, identified the four telltale signs he encounters when an organization isn’t dedicated to transparency. Beyond the following, less than ideal traits of an organization without transparency, Berg contends that such organizations lack the ability to compete and survive in the long haul.
We couldn’t agree more. Today’s workforce requires the two-way communication, context and innovation that transparency brings. Are you experiencing these frustrating effects that a lack of transparency can bring?
Lack of Transparency Sign #1: Sub-Optimization
Very often in business, we will find that the same systems and processes implemented long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, are still in place today, goals haven’t been revisited since we landed on the moon, and by the way, what’s our business strategy? Organizational transparency shines a light on every crack and crevice.
Author on leadership and workplace innovation, Glenn Llopis defines the formula of workplace transparency:
Efficient problem solving + the ability to build teams easier + the development of authentic relationships + trust = higher levels of performance.
All roads in transparency land lead to the optimization of processes and performance. When leadership doesn’t have a clear view of the inner-workings of their workforce, how can they truly foster growth or drive success?
Lack of Transparency Sign #2: Duplicate Work
We see this issue arise in non-transparent workforces quite often. No one is in the loop with one another, and therefore a lot of redundant work and communications take place. Remember the scene in Office Space, “Did you get the memo?” His boss sends a memo, verbally addresses the issue twice and then sends another memo. There probably isn’t a worker alive that hasn’t fallen victim to the insanely frustrating, all too common corporate practice of redundancy.
“Many work processes are developed on an ad hoc basis and become the standard model for getting work done through sheer repetition. In many cases, there is already collective wisdom within your organization on how to improve the work flow, but it is extremely difficult for any one person to make a change in a work process without the opinions and involvement of other employees and managers.” - Tech Consultant and Author, Ellis Davidson
Lack of Transparency Sign #3: Bad Decision-Making
A seemingly common sense factor in decision-making is having all the necessary information before making any choices. Most leaders really do know this, but the fact remains, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s down right dangerous to make business decisions without all the facts.
“Tying the decision-making process to a criteria screen based on core purpose or mission and to articulated values is central to creating transparent decision-making. If this is not done, the danger is that decisions will not only seem to be but may in fact drift into arbitrary criteria with no over-riding sense of mission-driven structure or coherent values.” - Workplace Leadership Expert and Author, Robert Staub
Lack of Transparency Sign #4: Inability to Innovate
It’s really as simple as this: transparency leads to collaboration, and collaboration leads to innovation. Transparency knocks down the walls, abolishes the silos and gets people communicating. When each member of the team can visualize the impact that their work has on the big picture, it can completely change their perspective of their own value, and the possibilities of their position.
“While 90% of employees surveyed report they are always looking for better ways to do their jobs, the data reveals that only 54.7% feel they are encouraged to do so. Moreover, just 33.4% of federal employees surveyed believe their agency rewards creativity and innovation.” - Summary of a Deloitte Consulting Survey
Total transparency in business can make a world of difference in any organization. Goals become clear, processes get revamped and innovation can spring to life. When no one knows there’s a problem, nothing is going to fix it, and that doesn’t make it less of a problem.
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