On the radio this morning I heard at least 3 stories where transparency was a main driver of the story. The Edward Snowden saga, a story about the police and their treatment of a case from 20 years ago and the story from last week where the UK’s CQC was outed for trying to cover up an internal revue of an assessment given to a questionable (I don’t know the full story) hospital was discussed again.
In the first case a man felt that there needed to be more transparency in how the US carried out it’s investigations & data capture for potential terror threats etc… The second was about bringing more transparency to the way the police force in the UK operates. The third, about how more transparency is needed in how hospitals are run & assessed.
Throughout the media we hear many cries for more transparency in various aspects of life. Usually these are about how our governments & their various departments are functioning – i.e. how they are spending our money & whether or not we would be happy with that.
The ever increasing demand for transparency seems to be due to the fact that we are starting to see through the cracks created when people attempt to hide things & thus these first glimpses & hints at problems drive a strong desire for more transparency to see what other problems lurk behind the veil of how these organisations operate.
The same is true in business – the more we try to veil problems, the bigger they become & when they do finally break through (they always do) they are much bigger than they would have been had we been more transparent from the beginning. Visualisation & going to Gemba (getting out on the shop floor or where the work actually takes place for those in an office) are methods for creating transparency. To enable problems to be identified quickly to be resolved before they become huge.
The need to hide problems, to create that veil of secrecy often comes from what I wrote about last week – the Blame Game. How do you maintain transparency in your operation, in your work? Workplace organsation (5S)? Visualisation? Process Confirmation? The more methods the better – identify those problems before they become too big to resolve easily.