Why transparency is so important to become a social business

To become a true Social Business you must strive to make your company culture to be Engaged, Nimble and Transparent.

Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the world famous design and fashion company Prada, writes an interesting article about this in the september issue of Harvard Business Review. Here he, among other things, he says this about having Control Through Transparency:

– At Prada we have no secrets. At many companies managers in charge of a particular function – whether design or merchandise – dislike it when people in their department talk to colleagues in other departments.

– They want to maintain control, and they often do so by hoarding knowledge and restricting communication.

– Naturally, you must let people have control over what they do. Good designers should be the masters of their designs, or their ideas may be spoiled. Good managers shouldn’t be second-guessed, or no one will want to make decisions.

– But control must not become obstruction. A designer or a manager should be able to exercise it without limiting access to information.

– In fact, a culture that values transparency gives managers more control than one that values control. Transparency between functions enables Prada to respond to changing market tastes very quickly.

– Transparency also allowed us to easily adopt the reporting standards required of a publicly listed company.

Source: Harvard Business Review, September 2012

In my mind, this is exactly what sharing information openly inside a company, is helping employees getting more engaged and build skills more efficiently. And that is exactly what we talk about when we define what a true Social Business is. Taking into use, modern social collaboration tools, like IBM Connections 4.0 does exactly that. Make your company Transparent, Engaged and Nimble!