Preparing for Unintended Transparency

Dateline: January 15, 2016

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Sloan Management Review recently published an article titled “Leading in the Age of Super-Transparency” by Professors Rob Austin (from the Copenhagen Business School) and David Upton (from Oxford’s Said Business School).  In it, the authors suggest that we’ve reached a new normal, where causes and controversies can be generated and spread virtually instantly around the world, and that most business leaders have not recognized nor begun planning for the consequences.

The Professors suggest 5 things managers can do to prepare:

  1. Examine your assumptions about how you can keep information contained.
  2. Review your strategy for dealing with vulnerability to unintended transparency.
  3. Review your organization’s operations for issues that might be problematic if revealed.
  4. Assume that others will put out information about your organization for their own reasons and you won’t be able to prevent it.
  5. Recognize that new information flows change what people consider to be fair.

What are your organization’s assumptions on transparency? On the new normal flow and propagation of information over social and other media outlets?  What plans need to be made?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend!


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