Ideas to Help Make Your Organization More Transparent

One of the most pronounced trends in business over the last five years or so has been the move toward greater transparency. This trend has been driven primarily by the revolution we call “the Internet,” where the default has now become public. Information that used to be kept behind closed doors or in certain expert domains has now become readily accessible to anyone around the globe who has access to any search engine.

Inside organizations, this means that employees are expecting more information to be shared, more of the time. For some, this push for transparency is nothing new.

There are many ways you can make things more visible internally to improve your decision making:

1. Improve Your Systems and Processes

Create systems and processes that share more data. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Many large companies are strategically strengthening their intranets, even creating internal online communities, to ensure that people know what’s going on internally. And perhaps the simplest example of improving transparency comes from the payment processing startup, Square: if more than two people participate in a meeting, then notes from the meeting must be shared with EVERYONE internally. You don’t have to read all the notes, but you no longer have the excuse of not knowing what’s going on.

2. Evaluate Your Decisions

You can also come at this from the opposite side: figure out where your decisions are most in need of improvement, and build up your information sharing to support those areas. Maybe you’ve been creating great new products that have been consistently going over budget. Clearly the financial decision-making has been the weak link, so look to your financial reporting processes and see if you can get more targeted and perhaps more frequent data to the product team throughout their product development life cycle.

3. Distract Your Silos

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to shutting down transparency is the very existence of our different departments and divisions. While they are necessary (sometimes we need a space where we can go deep in our own area of expertise), silos can benefit from occasionally being distracted. Find periodic projects that require people to work across silo lines to get things done. but the connections they made and the information they learned about what their colleagues are actually doing to improve customer engagement will actually enhance their future decisions.

Stop settling for excuses. Embrace transparency (and improve decision making) before your competitors do. It’s actually easier than you think.

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