“Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. Fear is not the best motivator. It destroys innovation, creativity and trust.”(W. Edwards Deming's quality point 8, "Drive Out Fear")
If you have read my writings here and elsewhere, or perhaps listened to any of my talks at conferences and events, you know that transparency is one of my favorite subjects to write and talk about. It is because it is the anti-dote to the lack of good collaboration, sharing and communication that destroys so much value in organizations today.
For one thing, transparent communication leaves little room for rumors by putting all the facts on the table and makes people more engaged by allowing them to ask and access the pieces they might be missing. Transparent communication is especially important in hard and uncertain times when people risk being paralyzed by fear of losing their jobs. It is also important when people need to confront themselves with substantial change efforts as it can be used to encourage people to enroll in the change effort, taking active participate in designing and implementing the required changes.
Transparent communication from management also demonstrates their trust in people as people are given all the facts and can make sense out of it themselves instead of just taking part of an official story told by management.
I am fully convinced that the organizations which will be successful in the years to come are organizations where talented, creative and dedicated people want to work and where they are allowed to reach their full potential. For that to happen, the culture must be built trust, not fear. Transparent communication will help to drive out fear from an organization and replace it with trust.