Transparency or Transparencies

In my blog last week I wrote about unconscious bias and the role of advisers in helping decision makers understand their biases, so they have more clarity in their decision making. However, having clarity of one’s own decision making is not enough, you also need transparency. 

Transparencies (remember those sheets of plastic on a projector) for presentations were quite the thing back in the latter stages of the last century. Like transparencies, keeping staff in the dark about decision making in organisations is a thing of the past. The new work environment demands much greater clarity of decision making and of the values that underpin them. Take the Googlers at Google who refused to work on an AI project when they found out it was for the US military

What happens when your decision making is opaque to staff? You create distrust amongst them. And we all know trust is essential for staff to be committed to the cause. 

Worse still, you may devalue your values. Staff may be asking, “I can’t see how our values were applied in this case?” And, “Are our values just a branding exercise?” 

If you devalue your values, don’t be surprised that unwanted behaviours arise around the corner. 

Clarity of values and transparency of how they are being applied in the decisions of the leadership group will go a very long way to ensuring you have the culture you want across your organisation.