Like many during the COVID-19 shutdown, I found time on the weekends to finally get things done around the house. For me, this meant unpacking the moving boxes that filled the garage. At some point, I decided to leave no box unpacked. This meant unpacking boxes that were packed and simply moved from one home to the next for far more than a decade.
In these boxes that waited more than a decade to be unpacked, I found things that one would expect to find, such as my childhood lovey, a tattered old stuffed bunny named Floppy, newspaper clippings from my small town high school days, cookbooks and old electronics, including a Walkman and huge collection of compact discs (CD’s).
Most interestingly, I found a set of notebooks from my early days in IT. I lost an entire day on a Saturday reading back through these notebooks, all written before digital transformation, social media, and smartphones, even remote desktop was a novel idea when my much more legible handwriting graced the pages of these notebooks. I could write a blog about every page of these notes, contrasting then to today. For example, for my fellow Oracle friends and cybersecurity enthusiasts, “Scott/Tiger” was written on the cover of one of the notebooks.
Of all things that caught my eye, aside from the default username and password to who knows how many Oracle databases in the ‘90s, there was one most interesting page, entitled “buzz words”. The list of words included:
- ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)
- Data warehouse
- Snowflake schema (evolved from star schema)
- JAD (Joint Application Development)
- High frequency
- Data structure diagram
- Kimball /Inmon approach
At the bottom of this page, in quotes, it said, “Transparency will never go out of style or be obsolete.” – George Garnett. When I made this list of buzzwords in whatever meeting I was sitting in at the time; I thought they were the holy grail; I thought that they were all that I needed to know to get along in my career. George, my boss at the time, was right. I could write you a list of buzzwords for every year of my life, and I would find a list of words that have come and gone, in contrast, “transparency” has never gone out of style. Transparency will never be obsolete. Transparency is the key to effective consulting and effective group collaboration.
Transparency invites people to contribute
In its rarest form, transparency is the art of being open. If we show openness towards others, they will tend to show more openness to us. Sharing ideas is a way of inviting people to reciprocate and share ideas back. By sharing ideas, we open the door to collaboration, and we make individuals feel valued and respected. When we give our time to listen to other’s ideas, we are showing them that their ideas are a priority. If we do this more and more over time, this will condition the individual to want to continue sharing and create motivated and engaged employees, which in turn creates strong project teams.
Contribution promotes healthy collaboration
Openness invites people in, which naturally leads to a two-way conversation about them. Enter collaboration. We can all agree that the output of group collaboration is stronger than the output of one individual, in most cases. What gets overlooked, is the benefits that group collaboration can have on the individual. Group collaboration can grow individuals just as much as it can produce strong outputs. In group settings, individuals are surrounded by new situations where they are forced to quickly adjust their perspectives and work with a group in a very fluid way. Individuals are forced to grow by knowing when to vocalize their ideas, to substantiate their ideas and sometimes, even to know when to recede their ideas.
Collaboration results in stronger outputs
The best part of collaboration is that it does not just challenge one to be better, stronger, more agile and more creative. It is also a more efficient way to create better ideas! With a “team think” mentality we discover ideas from people and places that we might have otherwise not discovered in a more closed environment. That’s what I call a win, win!
Contribution, collaboration, better outputs – these are all areas that are possible because of transparency. Transparency is the catalyst to not just building trust, but to building motivated employees, strong project teams and driving results.
At Veritas, we specialize in various strategy & transformation solutions that enable companies and professionals to transform their businesses. Transparency is key in all successful transformation projects. If you are interested in learning more about our specific capabilities, connect with us or subscribe to our blog to stay connected.