Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Transparent Communication

Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Transparent Communication

Article excerpt

What is it? This is the 'nothing-up-my-sleeve' school of management: getting as much information out into the open as soon as possible, whether it concerns finances, personnel, strategy or innovation. Some bosses do this for positive reasons. They believe in the 'wisdom of crowds'. They feel that 'none of us is as smart as all of us'. Others go transparent for more defensive reasons. They worry about leaks and the unexpected disclosure of confidential information. They tell the truth because, as Mark Twain observed, you don't have to remember anything that way.

Where did it come from? Information used to be shared by managers on a militaristic, need-to-know basis ('... and you don't need to know!') After World War Two, this started to loosen up. Training organisation the Industrial Society pioneered a technique called Team Briefing, which involved the formal spreading of news and information on a monthly basis. This became a popular practice, updated to use verbs such as 'cascade' (eg 'time to cascade this information down'). …

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