Mask or no Mask? The Importance of Transparency in Business.
By Josh McDonald, Project Manager with Nexus 5 Group
Too many times, we have worn masks with clients and our own teams. Transparency is not for the weak-minded leader. It’s not for the leader who commands full control. It is not for the leader who demands the hierarchy of traditional business.
Transparency in business is designed to benefit the client, the team, and the organization.
It is a selfless value that, at its core, relinquishes the stronghold of a common business myth called the “need to know basis.” It eliminates the restriction of data and communication and invites all to take ownership and pride in a clear, honest, open, and direct form of communication. Do we not trust our clients or team enough to be transparent? If you struggle with that answer, you may need to evaluate your culture.
Good business decisions require analysis of their potential consequences. The following will help create a dialogue for you and (hopefully) your team to develop your own cost-benefit analysis regarding transparency of your organization internally as well as externally.
Internal transparency directly impacts every team member in the organization. It creates a greater sense of ownership and accountability. Outside of the day-to-day conversations, we meet bi-weekly to assess our internal data. This includes financials as well as other various analytics. Yes, I said financials. Every team member at Nexus 5 Group also attends a quarterly financial meeting to cover profit and loss as well as outcomes of specific projects. However, this requires mature leaders in your organization.
Transparency requires leaders who are confident in who they are and the ability to exemplify trust, honor, and grace. It requires your leaders to turn loose of their gorilla grip on control and allow others to have a voice that is heard and valued. It may feel risky and scary but, it is worth it! The culture created is fueled by the team, opposed to the single leader attempting to drag everyone toward the goal.
Transparent organizations instill trust and confidence in their clients and team members.
Providing clear visibility encourages a collaborative working environment internally as well as externally. It allows us the opportunity to educate our team and clients. It allows us the opportunity to create authentic relationships and approach the difficult conversations with confidence.
We play in the construction field. Things happen sometimes that require difficult conversations or corrections. Transparency solicits input from all parties involved. It creates innovation and solutions to issues. It strips control from internal leadership and extends that control to the client. Only then does it allow us to guide, educate, inform, and serve our clients well.
A culture with a “nothing to hide” mentality flattens the hierarchy of the organization resulting in continuity and a greater team atmosphere. This culture extends freedom to the organization’s leadership, creates efficiencies in operations, and allows leaders to engage in other areas that will develop the company in ways that steer it toward long-term success.
What if that success did not only encompass the margins made or profits counted? What if long term success was focused more on deep and lasting relationships? Yes, I understand we need to make a profit to thrive. So, what factors will most drive the profitability of your business? Too many of us get caught up in the numbers without ever figuring out how the numbers are driven. According to the internal data we have reviewed consistently over the last three years, transparency in your relationship with clients is up there.
Here is the kicker. It starts “at home.” How well we serve within our organization will determine how well we serve our clients. If transparency is important to our clients, why wouldn’t it be important to the internal workings of our organization?
Take off the mask. Be freed. Thrive and grow.
Next time you want to tackle a construction project with full transparency, call us at 913-671-3361!