Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Secrets

What are some reasons organizations (and people) try to keep secrets? 
  • Hide damaging information
  • Maintain hierarchical privilege
  • Mask inequitable decisions
  • Protect perceived advantage
  • Fear of dissent and debate
  • Protect turf

The damage done when organizations (and people) try to keep secrets?
  • Fosters lack of trust
  • Drains precious human/organizational energy
  • Distracts from the primary mission(s)
  • Causes inertia among the troops
  • Creates uncertainty in decision making
  • Promotes risk aversion
  • Inculcates isolationism
  • Incubates fear

When you look at those two lists (which are not exhaustive, by any means), it's hard to come to the conclusion that secret-keeping serves a useful purpose - that is, IF...

Trust
     Teamwork
          Productivity
               Full Investment

are elements of your aspired culture.

My vote goes to Transparency and Full Disclosure.  Even when it hurts.

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