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Why Managers Need To Become More Transparent

Max Nisen

Successful management is about making hard decisions, but no matter how hard an executive works, the success of any initiative is a collaborative process.

Strategy+Business published an excerpt from a book written by two Cisco executives called The Collaboration Imperative, which examines how managers can better unlock the best of their organizations.

One of their four keys was transparency. Authors Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese write:

When you’re open and transparent about the answers to three questions — who made the decision, who is accountable for the outcomes of the decision, and is that accountability real — people in organizations spend far less time questioning how or why a decision was made. Think of how much time is wasted ferreting out details when a decision is made and communicated because the people who are affected don’t know who made the decision or who is accountable for its consequences.    

Transparency is essential in making sure both the spirit in and the letter of a decision are followed. As organizations become increasingly spread out, it's important as a motivational tool.

Having people at every level and at every site that understands and can express why something's being done is invaluable. The best way to do that is by bringing people in to the decision making process, by sharing the thought process and data that went into it.

Transparency is a way to make employees advocates of a plan, rather than just the people who carry out the word from on high.  

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