A Culture of Candor


In a previous life, a fellow executive and I used to bemoan what we called "hypocritical politeness."  That may not be the best term for it, but what we were trying to fight was a culture that valued not hurting someone's feelings more than it valued telling people what they needed to know to get their job done, make improvements, etc.  People were being polite, but they weren't being helpful.

In this article from CIO Insight, Warren Bennis (a professor at USC) discusses a "culture of candor."  There are a number of worthwhile quotes:

  • The tragic weakness of most organizations today, whether public or private, is that they are designed to suppress truth and transparency. Most are set up in such a way that everyone in them seems to know the truth, but nobody ever tells it to anyone else.
  • No organization can be honest with the public if it is not honest within.
  • No organization is served by silence...

The article is full of great examples that are too extensive to quote here. 

I think blogs are one great tool for creating more candor, more expression, and more communication in an organization.  I'm impressed in the short time we've been using them in Utah, what I've learned from other people's blogs.  I hope that my blog helps make my thinking, motives, plans, and actions more transparent.