Transparency can help us reveal the best version of ourselves

I had a client who said his organization wasn’t ready to be on social media. He had good intentions. He was worried his company as a whole was not ready to properly deal with the openness and transparency that the social channels demand of an organization. The trouble is, an organization doesn’t get to decide if they will be on the social channels or not. As my client found out, people were already talking about his company on Facebook. Welcome to the new reality.

"But I didn’t ask for all this transparency!"

Comments won’t always be to your liking. People won’t always tell the truth about you. That’s just the nature of the beast (and it can feel like a beast at times). You can’t shut it all off. The openness is inescapable.

Okay, that can start to sound a little dire. It can make it feel like our only choice is living in a constant state of paranoia. But the truth is, that some excellent things can happen when we embrace the transparency. I wrote about this effect recently:

Ultimately, the new expectation of transparency causes us to be better. We can’t be lazy (because everyone’s watching.) And we can’t sweep the mistakes under the rug. We have to own up to our missteps. But look at the entity that we’re describing. Look at the qualities we’re calling out. Honesty, diligence, forthrightness, innovation, and more. Doesn’t that sound like someone you’d like to be friends with? Or someone you’d like to work with?

Transparency offers all that. Will it take some work that we didn’t have to do in the old days? Yep. But it will also help us engage with our people, our prospects, and more in ways that, in the old days, would have seemed pretty impossible for an organization to do. Things that are defined by words like ‘sharing' and ‘collaborating'. It’s time to get excited about the transparency. And see just what it could help us do.

Are you open to that?