A lot has been said about transparency these days especially in government, politics and business. It’s definitely in vogue. But it’s not a subject to be confined to some aspects of human endeavor, as it has become the cornerstone for building team spirit and integrity in organizations.
The sheer size of information and resources controlled by businesses irrespective of the size, has made transparency a subject of interest for every one, from small businesses to large corporations. In this game for control over the soul of enterprises and by extension their resources, people tend to withhold information instead of giving. A lot is shrouded in secrecy. The control of information and resources in any system is perceived as “Power”; and to be totally in control of such in any given situation is seen as “Absolute power” which often destroys the business eventually.
Many entrepreneurs keep certain important aspect of their business from even management staff because they believe it’s too ‘sensitive’ to the survival of the business. Truth is, some people have used such information against the enterprise they work for, especially if their employment was terminated. Some become the competition instantly. Interestingly, no ‘sane’ person has access to power and uses it against themselves. They often use and even abuse such information to their advantage.
Bad experiences, sometimes, make businesses withhold information to the extent that it begins to hurt the enterprise, their customers and staff – this is unhealthy. It’s good to regulate and control information within or emanating from an enterprise, but it should never be used for politicking or for power play. Create an environment where information flows freely. Some organizations will not show the need for transparency, until there has been fraud or a scandal and in some cases, serious power play that has hurt the business badly.
As an enterprise, transparency will be a smart mechanism worked into your system irrespective of your size and scope. It will help you solve potential problems upfront. Most times, organizational policies usually reflect the personality of it’s leadership. Don’t be crooked or your business will also be crooked. Be deliberate about being transparent. Encourage open and sincere communication throughout the business. Delegate well and empower people to make decisions.
A functional process manual is an important tool for standards & procedures in your enterprise. This gives everyone access to what is required to effectively function in their roles.