Friday, February 26, 2016

Lean Quote: Embrace Transparency to Involve Employees

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.— Arthur Nielsen

Good leadership is all about communication, and the best leaders are completely transparent with their staff. I believe that with knowledge comes power and the more information we share the quicker with can improve.  Creating a culture of openness and free-flowing information can be a competitive advantage.  Here are three reasons you should embrace transparency:

1. Transparency helps employees connect to the why. When employees are working in a vacuum, they can't see the financial "big picture," and decisions leaders make may seem ill-advised or unfair or simply inexplicable. Transparency connects them to the why—and that understanding propels them to act. You can ask people to change their work habits and established processes all day long. But if they don't know why they're being asked to change, they won't change—at least not for long.

2. Transparency leads to faster, more efficient execution. When times are tough, execution is everything. And the ticket to good execution is good alignment: All sectors of an organization must understand exactly what's required so they act in a coordinated and collaborative fashion. Transparency is what facilitates that kind of alignment. It's all about a shared sense of urgency.

3. Transparency facilitates the best possible solutions. In transparent cultures, leaders encourage employees to solve problems themselves. And because those employees are the people closest to a problem, and because they must live with the outcome, they almost always design the most effective, efficient solution.  And, of course, they'll also have instant buy-in.

Be honest and open with your staff on matters that affect them and could ultimately put their mind at ease. It is important that you involve employees where you can with decision making to make them feel valued. As a manager, your aim is to have an open and honest working environment where your staff feels confident in coming to you with the truth about matters, whether they are big or small.

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