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Toward a Transparent World at Work

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

We are getting clearer and clearer that our world of work is becoming completely “see-through” in every area except for human feedback. The digital transformation of our workplaces is turning opaque walls into see-through windows, and we won’t be able to hold out much longer in hiding the information that people need to do their jobs.

I’ve been reading about this transformation from brilliant thinkers like Dion Hinchcliffe, technology strategist and futurist who focuses on next-generation enterprises. In a recent article, “What Are the Required Skills for Today’s Digital Workforce?,” he identifies “working out loud,” “open digital collaboration,” and “radical transparency” among the eight most critical skills for the future. He explains:

“We’ve learned that any entity where people believe secrets that affect them are being kept is rightly regarded with considerable skepticism and growing cynicism. Achieving [a high] level of openness, however, will be one of the most challenging yet vital changes for most organizations to make: Creating a culture of sharing and near total transparency that drives much better decision making, faster feedback loops, stronger relationships, less searching for information, less customer and workforce frustration, and yes, especially more employee engagement.”

There we have it. Any leader in this environment cannot get by without opening up themselves—vulnerabilities and all—to sharing observations and suggestions with their employees, colleagues, and yes, bosses.

My personal mission with feedback is to help us vulnerable humans bridge the gap between where we are now—apprehensive from our fight-or-flight associations with feedback —toward a transparently positive future where the opportunities for collaboration and creativity are exponentially greater than ever before.

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