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Transparency Will Keep You Seeing Black

“A Successful Business=Transparency”

Transparency – what does it mean? Simple, tell people, in a clear and timely way, what is happening. Tell the people who work for you what you know. Keep them informed. Make them a part of the process. Keep clientele informed as well. Keep all members of the operation, from suppliers to end consumers, in the loop. Of course it is more complicated than this, but for now lets keep it simple.

I am going to talk about one aspect of the above – transparency between leadership and employees, and how to maintain an open/effecient line of communication between all parties. No matter how many employees work for a company leadership should not sacrifice transparency.

In this age of information and communication technologies creating a way to keep employees informed should be easy. A great example of this advancement of technology is company intranets (internal internet specific to said company). Company leadership can set up an intranet where company employees have access to a company-only bulletin board. Leadership can post PDF bulletins that employees can access anytime via onsite computers. All information is of course internal and this intranet is a closed loop only for company use. Depending on the level of transparency employees could be given the opportunity to post information on the intranet bulletin board. How it is monitored will be something to discuss and work out. How interactive to make it would also be something for discussion. In the spirit of full transparency I would say that all information wanting to be posted should be. It would mean that the intranet would have to have a dynamic layout and design that allows for archives, etc. Again, with the advancements in communication and information technology anything could be accomplished.

Another example for increased information communication that would raise the level of transparency throughout a company is a company listserv. To make this indiscriminate employees would automatically be added to the listserv once they set-up a company email account. Once again, this would be internal in nature, for company employees only and would not be directly publicized. This is for employer-employee communication. Leadership would be able to get information out quickly, and employees would be able to contact leadership directly. It would of course be the responsibility of the leadership to answer whatever inquiry comes across the listserv lines. Monitoring the listserv is the only issue really, but if leadership gains the trust of its employees monitoring won’t be a major issue. A simple set of rules emphasizing decency, proper conduct, etc. would be necessary.

The main purpose of increased transparency, I believe, is to create a feeling of unity within the company. I believe that by communicating openly, one can foster this feeling of unity and use it to maintain high company-wide moral and spirit. And of course, this should go both ways.

Leadership should not only tell people what to do and hand down decisions, but also entertain and accept suggestions, ideas, and thoughts from the employee base. Decisions are not made in a vacuum. Leaders don’t always know everything, but knowing how to gain knowledge from the resources surrounding them is what makes a good leader.

For more information and stories on transparency and business check out these links:
This is a web blog excerpt about how transparency helped this guys business.http://worcester.typepad.com/pc4media/2005/04/transparency_an.html

IMPAQT is a search engine marketing company that employs transparency ideologies into the core of its business plan, affecting all systems from clientele to suppliers to employees.http://www.impaqt.com/insights/sem-way-business-transparency.htm

Investopedia is a great source for all information financial and investment related. This is a story pertaining to why transparency in relation to financial statements is so necessary.http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental/03/121703.asp

More business talk to come…Until then, enjoy.

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