Some people in some companies are afraid to be transparent. Being transparent is scary. Some people believe information is power. Some managers believe being transparent makes life difficult. You maybe might need to explain things… but is that also not the role of a manager? To provide context to information and decisions? Help people making understand why some decisions are taken? A company is not a 100% democracy, not everyone needs to agree with a decision. However, they do need to be able to understand why a decision is made, they need to understand the context. In fact a manager should set the context and the people can make the decision themselves.
Some managers believe they can make their life easy by not sharing too much information, or even worse no information. Who doesn’t know companies where the salary house is not public, budgets are secret, team members are not explicit informed when other team members are allowed to go the conference, etc.
I believe professionals always want and need 100% information about topics that they are interested in. If they only have 60% of the information they will try to get 100% information.
But.. how do they find 40% of the information? The 40% they lack?
Here comes the great danger… here you get as a manager in serious trouble… The 40% will come from:
- Water Coolers, information heard when someone is talking too much at the watercooler. Information will spread and you as manager are not informed or know which information is shared. Who already knows about things or who not.
- Assumptions, “Last time this happened, so probably this will happen again”. People will make assumptions and as we all know… assumptions are the mother of all fck-ups
- Gossip, people will make up their own story, based on …. and probably a story in their own interest.
As a manager you will have a very difficult job to manage an environment where a lot of assumptions are made, a lot of gossiping is done or information is shared by accident. This will be really hard work as manager!
So why not make your life easy? Why not share 100% information? Why not be completely transparent?
And yes I realize that this is a simplification of the situation but that makes life easy sometimes 😉