Shibabrata Mondal - 08/Mar/2016

Transparency: The need to know what’s going on

transparency

Why is transparency important in an enterprise? This question has been well analysed and established in many books and articles on management. So we will not delve much into that. For our discussion in this article, we will assume transparency creates a happier, more engaged, motivated, and efficient workforce. We will focus on how to achieve transparency in an organization.

Transparency has mostly been thought of as something that managers create in their organizations. Probably because traditional organizations were of command and control relationships where managers were hoarders of critical information and knowledge. Managers controlled how information trickled down the organization on a need to know basis. So a lot of attention was paid to improve the quality and quantity of information flowing down from managers to reportees. This indeed has helped many traditional organizations. But over the years it has been seen that this is not enough in today’s modern workplaces.

One of the shifts in organizations in the last few years is a slow move towards partial holacracy (even when it is not explicitly done). In these organizations there are many other pockets of information silos and there is a need for information to flow in all directions for the enterprise to perform at an optimum level.

Let’s explore the three different types of information flows:

 

  • Vertical Top -> Down: This is the traditional information flow on vision, mission, culture, state of business, and what needs to be done. Traditionally done through announcements, emails and group level meetings.
  • Vertical Bottom -> Up: This is the information that needs to flow up for managers to get the right sense of status of projects and work. In the knowledge industry this is an important but often neglected information. Many high quality information about the state of business is available in the lower levels in the organization. It is important for organizations to tap into this information source and use it in critical business decisions.
  • Horizontal: This is needed to break down silos of information that develops in organizations. In today’s modern knowledge industry innovation is almost always a result of identifying some problem in a complex system and then collaborating with cross functional teams to come up with a solution. Open and free information flow between these organizational silos helps improve the ability to identify issues and collaborate on solutions. This increases the rate and quality of innovation that helps differentiate a company from its competition.

 

Enterprises that recognises this and works on eliminating barriers to flow of useful information across the organization are the ones that will remain most innovative and competitive.

There are two other aspects of transparency that is worth discussing here:

  • Transparency does not equate to free for all information architecture: It must be noted that an enterprise needs an information architecture that allows restricting information both for regulatory purposes and appropriate governance structure. Some critical customer information or financial information might fall in this category.
  • Relevant and high quality information: In an large enterprise it is important that only the relevant information reaches the right people at the right time. This information also need to be organized and summarized in the optimal way for easy consumption. Sharing irrelevant news leads to information overload.

The Wizergos information sharing architecture addresses all these problems in a common platform. The Wizergos Work Management tool provides right information to the right users at the right time. The tool facilitates you to organize and publish the data.

Try Wizergos work management tools now.

(image credit: jarche.com)

Shibabrata Mondal

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