Transcript: Hi, I’m Anna Talerico with Married2Growth, and here are some simple guidelines for ensuring you are leading your company or team with transparency.
Companies and leaders should be as transparent as is possible, without distraction or disruption to the business. Here what I think work well.
First, share as much information as you can that is not confidential, distracting or hurtful to any involved parties. When considering what to share, ask: “Does it benefit all parties?” If the answer is no, I think it bears some thought.
Second, share this information with team members, often and consistently: Company roadmap, strategy, and goals. Company performance. Context on decision making—include staff in decision-making when relevant and realistic. Company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That’s a lot to share.
So, third, when you share information, don’t just throw it out there and assume everyone will consume it and understand it. Present data and information with as much context and background as you can to help ensure the information is received and processed. Information needs to be framed for it to be understood in context.
And fourth, and this is the most important one. Encourage your staff to ask you anything. Answer questions honestly and directly. Even in situations where everything can’t be disclosed, it’s important to share what you can, and never give dishonest or inaccurate information. You may sometimes, depending on the situation, need to be vague or noncommittal but you never need to be dishonest.
In doing a bit of reading and reflecting on the subject of leading with transparency, it’s apparent that this concept means different things to different people. I’ve seen ‘recommendations’ for transparency that range from “update your teams often on strategy and company performance” to “include employees in decisions” to “openly share financials and salaries.” I am not a fan of radical transparency as a core value, where company salaries and weakness are shared openly, because it can detract from building value in a company, which is a core responsibility of leading.
So, can a company always be transparent? YES. Absolutely. They can and they should. Every company needs to determine how to implement it, what is right for their culture. I think these guidelines I covered here are simple and work for most (they have never failed me), and are the minimum a company should do when it comes to transparency. So, that’s it. Thanks for watching. I hope you will join me on the Married2Growth blog where we cover lots of stuff just like this.