Chapter 25: Is transparent clear enough for you?

Author: 

Demos Demetriou

Chapter 25: Is transparent clear enough for you?

Times have changed in business in so many ways. The types of business, the people behind those businesses and the practices they adopt. When I look back at the different businesses I’ve been involved in, there is one thing that is massively different with this business. Transparency.

In my previous businesses, like many other people that I’ve known over the years, they always kept their trade and ways of working a bit of a secret or at least kept their cards close to their chest. Often to keep a competitive advantage. Understandable back then, but things have changed. Social media, reality TV shows and other things try to open the lid on many things. I can’t speak of how transparent people are on those mediums but I can certainly speak about us.

Why

Adopting transparency into the way you run your business is fundamental. As with many things in the last couple of years, I didn’t really think it would have such a profound effect. One of the reasons I started writing this blog was to open the doors to what we were doing to show we have nothing to hide and to hopefully inspire a few people along the way. It’s also been a good read for other Founders who have been through a lot of the challenges we’ve had. The idea of transparency has run deeper though for us and for me it’s the best bit.

We’re a small team and our transparency is applied to everything we do. When we write things we are transparent and share articles with each other so we can make improvements. This blog, for example, is always read by Steph and Nargis before it’s published. Partly because my grammar can be a little off sometimes, but it also keeps my topics in check.

It Helps

Standard stuff you say, all good teams do this! OK, what about if you don’t like something. Do you have the balls (without being a twit about it) to tell your team that you didn’t like that design and these are the reasons why. Steph and Nargis would happily tell me this post is crap if it is. Not because they are heartless individuals looking to make their mark. It’s just because we are transparent and we can all see the value in being that way.

Can your team tell you as a Founder what they really think about you and your ideas? If you have a team that can, I think you are a step ahead of many other organisations. Being transparent about how you operate your business, the ideas you have and the ideas you don’t like are a massive advantage to everyone involved. There are no grey areas with what we do. There are no underlying agendas, thoughts or ideas that we do not disclose to each other.

It runs even deeper still with us. Finances, shareholdings, forecasts, results, the lot. We discuss it all. As a Founder I’m proud to be able to operate like this. Obviously a lot of that has to do with our team. If we had the wrong people then maybe that wouldn’t be so easy. We apply that transparency to everything that we do.

It’s Clear Now

It’s refreshing, a relief and builds trust between everyone involved from our team to the users who are helping us make recruitment easier. I’ve spoken a lot about the things we are doing and it’s nice to hear from readers who enjoy the tips, contacts mentioned or just reading something a bit different.

I think all businesses no matter what size should operate transparently. It builds trust and just makes it easier to build a great team who will then go on to build a great business. Ideally the bigger the business the more this should be a priority. It seems that the bigger businesses get, the less transparent they become. The VW emissions scandal comes to mind!

Until next time…