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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Value of Fair, Transparent Process

I read a criticism recently about an unfair process by a state agency. The criticism noted in many words that when process is not open, transparent, and based on worthy protocols, there's the potential for injustice. Although I didn't know all the details of the issue discussed, I agree with the premise that open, transparent process is valuable for many, many reasons.

First of all, open, transparent, fair process saves time. When people feel like they are being treated unfairly, that takes time away from the good work possible, and instead people spend their time trying to figure the process out and time to advocate for fair process.

Next, open, fair, transparent process creates a positive culture--this kind of process demonstrates to all what a system values. When a process is unfair, untimely, confusing, or lacking transparency, that creates many questions about a culture and confusion about what's valued and what is not.

And, open, fair, transparent process creates a positive sense of team and collaboration in an organization. When people understand what is valued and how decisions are made, then they feel like part of the team, however, when decisions are done with secrecy and a lack of transparency, that tears at team, heightens conjecture, rewards silence, and limits the positive collaboration possible.

Further, lack of transparency, openness, and fairness, can lead to conjecture about possible prejudice and favoritism. If process is not transparent one may wonder if that occurs because the process favors one group or type of worker over another? That's a question many consider without fair, transparent, open process.

It could be that processes are often closed and lacking transparency simply because people didn't take the time to think through the process or communicate the process in a timely, thorough way from the start. It might be an oversight or it could simply not be valued.

I've noticed that many organizations today are moving towards greater transparency and openness. I'm a fan of this kind of effort because it builds greater opportunity for all and better teams too. Open, transparent, and fair process develops positive cultures, and in those positive cultures, I believe more people have a chance to contribute and develop in ways that matter. This is a benefit to all in the organization as well as the organization's goals.

What do you think?