Leadership and Transparency in Today’s Organizations

Leadership and Transparency in Today’s Organizations

By: Melonie Boone, MBA, MJ, PHR, Founder, Boone Management Group, Inc.

Today’s technology has lead organizations and its leadership to be posted on YouTube, blogs, and or on newsstands for the good and bad reasons. This technology is nothing new but organizations should leverage technology to their advantage by making their organization more transparent. Transparency is defined by creating an organizational culture that is open with communication that makes decisions based on analytically evidence. Additionally, this culture rewards employees for sharing their insight along with encouraging candor by welcoming news or information even when it’s unfortunate.

It is better for leaders to embrace today’s digital era by being more transparent rather than giving the responsibility to a third party. Lately, leaders are getting themselves into trouble whether they or a disgruntled employee leaks personal information and or recordings appear on the web of a CEO or employee negatively speaking about the company and its customers. In these instances leaders need to be more aware and cautious due to the technology that has made privacy more difficult. On November 5th founder of Lululemon Athletica, Chip Wilson, made negative comments that basically targeted overweight female customers. His comment was in response to a question about Lululemon’s see-through yoga pants; he alluded that some women’s’ bodies just don’t actually work for Lululemon’s apparel because their bodies are not the right size for the company’s pants. The statement made by Wilson, quickly had the entire social media world going crazy and soon after, Chip Wilson made a public apology. This is an example of a CEO that impulsively spoke about his views and due to the digital age we live in; his comment went viral, ultimately discriminating many of its customers. Organizational Transparency is no longer optional in this digital age; organizations need to create a transparent culture to minimize consumer and employee distrust.

Additionally, Leaders of organizations need to receive information from various perspectives to make crucial decisions. Sometimes the flow of information gets edited or is one-sided as it travels through different communication channels. Having transparency will help alleviate altered information.  Back in the 1980’s, CEO Robert Galvin of Motorola stated that he did not think he was the smartest person at Motorola. He put his ego aside and continued to mention that the success of the company was no thanks to him but the fact that he surrounded himself with talented managers and employees. He was a prime example of a leader that created a culture that was open and respected employees’ insight other than his own.

Organizations need to find a proper balance of transparency by not being too closed or open. Creating an organizationally transparent culture leads to a work environment that is based on candor and trust and therefore creates loyalty from the stakeholders, employees, customers, and the public eye. Technology has given organizations the ability to be more transparent however; this can also be used to harm an organization. Organizations and its leaders must be cautious of discussing important matters in public vs. private locations.

Melonie Boone, MBA, MJ, PHR, Founder of Boone Management Group Inc., is a business strategist and executive leader with comprehensive experience in business optimization and human resources strategy. She works as a member of senior management to optimize strategic planning in support of organizational growth, bringing proven results in business strategy advising and directing human resources operations in diverse organizations across multiple states. Contact Melonie directly: mboone@boonemanagementgroup.com.