In October 2013, when Buffer was hacked, the team behind the scheduling tool for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn did something that many considered awesome.
Jenna Diaz-Gonzalez's insight:
Transparency is one of Buffer’s core values. The company feels that by being transparent, it’s a mutual benefit to itself and consumers. After being hacked, Buffer used its transparency to mitigate concerns from consumers, thereby avoiding animosity and gaining loyalty.
Transparency has become a popular concept in management circles in recent years, no matter how little enthusiasm you may have for the word itself. Now the topic has been thrust into our everyday lives with disclosures, or leaks, of alleged US secret intelligence information by Edward Snowdon. Increasingly, we are asking ourselves "How much transparency is the right amount?"
Transparency is given credit for fostering trust among members of an organization, building loyalty among employees, and generally creating better places to work. For many years we observed need-to-know policies (that may have had their origins in the military) among managers of leading organizations. This slowly evolved in some organizations into policies that gave employees much more information about the activities of the enterprise and more voice in determining what they felt they needed to know.
Is there a transparency sweet spot? Some argue that transparency, especially in larger organizations, is susceptible to distrust and so only relevant information should be passed through the ranks. To me, this sounds like a fault in the culture, not in the practice in transparency.
For the most part, younger generations seem to embrace an open culture because they already feel that everything they say or do will eventually be made public. Still, is there such thing as being too transparent?
Interesting infographic inasmuch as it focuses on the need for trust as a part of your social media strategy, i.e., transparency. Here's the author's point:
Mass adoption of social tools and technology have created an information democracy. Stakeholders are beginning to expect open access to relevant content and the ability to participate in dialogue that will help them satisfy their information needs. All this for the purpose of building trust in a product, service or organization.
Trust is the foundation of all relationships and relationships are what fuel business growth and long term success. Transparency across digital channels is a great way for organizations to start connecting with their audiences and slowly building trust.
Abstract: This paper examines coordination in transparent work environments - environments where the content of work artifacts, and the actions taken on these artifacts, are fully visible to organizational members.
Technology has exponentially increased the ease and scope of transparency; “…even the subtlest of actions taken in the digital space can be accessible to an audience that could include everyone...” This means that best practices and cross-team communication can be more easily facilitated that ever before. On the downside, this also means that decision-making can be slowed down due to vague messaging, indirect requests and information overload. If access to information is increased in a thoughtful manner, it can result in effective knowledge sharing and improved awareness of personal work quality. Increased transparency has a strong influence on work behavior, increasing accountability. This article assesses how transparency effects coordination in peer production.
Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, presents his philosophy of radical transparency. After Hollender posted a list critiquing Seventh Generation's products on the company's website, he says, customers responded favorably and asked for the same from Seventh Generation's competitors.
Seventh Generation has built a high level of authenticity and transparency that accounts for their customer loyalty. Jeffrey Hollender recognizes that companies no longer control the entire conversation and so they must embrace the public as part of the dialogue. If their annual report doesn’t make management cringe, then they haven’t done their job.
Earlier this week we hosted our first ever formal CEO Summit for our portfolio companies. We’ve done a number of less formal gatherings over the years, but this was the first time we had ever gathered everyone for a focused session with a structured agenda. Based on this one experience [...]
Jenna Diaz-Gonzalez's insight:
A reoccurring theme among CEOs is embracing a culture of full transparency and inclusiveness within their organizations. Extremely talented, high achieving CEOs practice openness. Their organizations expect accountability and honest feedback. Clear goals allow teams to understand how their contribution fits into the larger picture and provides motivation. Exposing weak spots in the company can be intimidating but results in a stronger organization.
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