How to create more transparent organizations?

The digital transformation is more than just new technologies. It creates new possibilities in the way organizations function and create value. Information circulate much more easily than ever before and we are living into a mind shifting. We saw employees as machines (human resource) that we manageable and numbers that could be replaced and fired as we wished. The fact that we now use machines to do some of the most boring jobs is making us slowly refocus our attention on the living part of organizations. Humans that can learn, be creative and thrive.  Another tendency is the consumers expecting for more and more transparency from companies. Many scandals about hidden information that negatively impacted customers, the planet, and employees made the headlines of newspapers. This awareness about organizational management flaws is getting unacceptable. Most of us are or were employees in companies where we could observe some insane management.

Dark management

Some companies use the vision, mission and values written on their website as marketing tool. They just say what one wants to hear because a good image is primordial. Saying that you foster diversity, equity and empowerment makes you look very good in the mirror and your ego loves it. This is just music to your ears. Yes there are some actions taken in the company to promote those values but they are not meant to change the system.
Beautiful workshops, presentation from the CEO, many discussions are organized but on the daily basis nothing is done to make those values, mission and vision a reality. It is left to destiny. 
Companies are fighting with the idea of transparency. For marketing purpose they will say they are working on becoming more transparent but as soon as you take a look at it you can see people, departments fight to keep things as they were.

Consequences of dark management

Managing from an a ego centered perspective has created many problems and reinforced dark management practices. Those are few examples:
  • there are no clear roles and tasks: some people just spend their time getting busy not getting work done
  • results are less important than appearing busy
  • power games, politics, competition hurt the company development
  • incentives encourage egoistic behavior 
  • resources are wasted
  • information are hidden
  • processes are unclear if not nonexistent
  • software are changed so often that employees cannot keep up
  • software are used as a solution when the problem is structural
  • employees expectations, needs and rights are ignored
  • ...
Does this sound familiar to you? 
It does resonate to almost every person I could speak with. People are very pessimist and do not think it can be changed. I am here to challenge you on that. 

Transforming to survive

The internet changed the way we look at the world because now we can access information almost instantaneously and connect with anybody online.  Our belief systems are evolving and so are our expectation when it comes to business. We should be more aware and taken into account when changes are coming. 
The business world is facing a paradigm shift from the machine oriented management to a management of the living. Companies are living creature made of unique individuals which aspiration, development and implication create value to the world. 

Transparency issues: 

The companies who try to transform need to learn how to become more transparent. It is a complex task because some of them emerged during a very different era of thinking. The companies' culture is sometimes in opposition with the new paradigm.

How can a company become transparent and follow the values, vision and mission that were thoughtfully written on their website?  
  • A diagnoses of the company situation must be made
  • Leadership must accept to share information
  • The company's issues must be acknowledge 
  • Organization structure must be revisited
  • Incentive must encourage transparency
  • Good behavior must be rewarded
  • Bad behavior must be punished
The bigger the company the harder the change and the most dedication is required. After the transformation the company will not look like as it was before. It is like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

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