But what does Mother Teresa have to do with Radical Transparency?
I first heard the phrase “Radical Transparency” when I read – Principles by Ray Dalio. In his words “I want independent thinkers who are going to disagree,” he says “The most important things I want are meaningful work and meaningful relationships. And I believe that the way to get those is through radical truth and radical transparency. In order to be successful, we have to have independent thinkers — so independent that they’ll bet against the consensus. You have to put your honest thoughts on the table.” He may summarize it differently but how I remember it is essentially creating a culture where honest feedback and communication is not only an operating principle but is encouraged and welcomed! Why? Because it speeds up decision making and learning. And when it’s a cultural norm in your company or project team, it’s accepted with a smile.
This isn’t permission to lack compassion. But direct feedback NEEDS to be welcomed. I love the Army AAR (After Action Review) process for just this reason. After all training events and missions, big or small, the Army AAR is a mandatory close out protocol. What did we do well and What can we do better. I believe these questions create an environment that welcomes and encourages transparency and allows real growth.
So in the spirit of Radical Transparency, start with being honest with yourself and your team. Where can you improve? What can you be better? Share it with your team, they deserve to know and your organization will be better for it.
BJ Kraemer, President