// what do you think?


Being Trustworthy Isn’t About Feeling Good, It’s Smart Business

For a long time now I (and many many others) have been talking about transparency. I’ve even gone so far as to tell companies that they need to adopt a Transparent Business Strategy.

The goal of a Transparent Strategy is to *have* trust.
To have trust in others and to have the trust of others.

I hate throwing around the much over used word, “strategy” without some context. The best definition of strategy that I’ve heard is: to create fit within all practices of an organization. Each function of a company should support the other business functions to drive profit.

Transparency isn’t just about Marketing. A Transparent Business Strategy should align across the entire organization: Marketing, Employee Communications, Partner Communications, Investor Relations, and Customer Support.

What is Transparency? Transparency means communicating honestly, it doesn’t mean communicating everything. It also means trusting others.

Companies need to be trust worthy. If companies want to have the trust of others they need to first trust in others. We don’t trust people who don’t trust us.

I believe that transparency drives trust which drives greater profits.

  • When your employees trust you they will work, not just harder, but better.
  • When your customers trust you they are more loyal.
  • When your stakeholders trust you they are more likely to invest in you.
  • When your strategic partners trust you they will more likely share valuable information.

I don’t know a single company (I’m sure they exist somewhere) that doesn’t want to have the trust of their customers, or the trust of their employees. Far fewer companies are willing to first trust their customers or employees. Most say they do, but how many actually do?

On a tactical level, last year Shel Holtz and John Haven even went so far as to release a great book called Tactical Transparency. If you’re interested in driving transparency through your organization I recommend giving it a read.

If a company trusted their employees, why would it be so scary to let them blog or use Twitter? If a company trusted that their customers why wouldn’t they have a dedicated evangelist program?

Of course an even more poignant question is: if a company has trust in themselves why should social media scare them? Ironically, I think they are afraid of the truth.

This is an updated version of an older post which can be found here.

Photo credit by nick.garrod

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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  • http://www.tacticaltransparency.com/ John C. Havens

    Hi Tac,

    Thanks for mentioning the book and great post.

    John C. Havens

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks John. It's a great book worth mentioning.

  • http://www.superiorpromos.com/ Promotional Products

    Transparency is a hot topic right now. Especially with Domino's marketing campaign. I like the fact that you are taking time to explain that transparency isn't the act of being open about every little detail, but rather just being open and honest with customers. It's about integrity.

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