Creating a high performance organisation: Part 6 – Improve performance through transparency
Written by Jon Lister, Director of Enterprise Chartered Certified Accountants
I would say that no-one likes the idea of being lied to, kept in the dark, partially informed…call it what you will. Yet the idea of having a business model that is fully transparent is almost unheard of.
So why hasn’t there been a cultural revolution demanding transparency in smaller businesses as we have seen in banking, global corporations and politics?
The cynical answer is that not enough people care.
But if you do, and you want to create a high performance culture in your business then transparency is something that ought to be one of your guiding principles.
Imagine living in a glass house, everything is on show so there is no where to leave the metaphorical ‘dirty washing’.
Having a transparent business model will mean that you have thought through every aspect of your business in a rational way, ensured that it is grounded with both your & the business’s core values and can explain in detail why things are the way they are.
Being transparent does not mean that everyone will be 100% happy for 100% of the time! But they will know the reasons why your wants don’t match their needs at that particular time.
This is particularly important when engaging with staff as bonus arrangements, promotion criteria and redundancy selection should all be dealt with in a transparent way. Being open with staff on rates of pay will prevent those whispers about ‘who gets what’ but will also allow you to have the motivating conversation which says “if you want to earn £X then this is what you need to deliver”.
Extending this out into the wider business environment will allow you to set the terms for negotiations with suppliers and customers…simply this is how ‘WE’ do business. If people can’t do business your way (which by now I’m hoping should be based around values, trust & respect) then these were relationships that were not right for you and ultimately would have failed or caused you to compromise your vision, in some way, to accommodate theirs.
Keeping that alignment of values with the big picture will allow yours and your business’s reputation to grow in a positive way and will in time act as a magnet to like minded others who value transparency in business.