To be or not to be…

One day I asked my friend, who is usually on the top of his trade, about how his startup was doing. He said he was very happy with his decision of starting on his own and would surely suggest the same to others. He however had one bottle neck. He said “Nandini, everything is good except for the challenge of attrition and finding team mates with good attitude”.

Understanding what really motivates people, to work in a team has always been an alluring puzzle to solve.

Recently, an external vendor was highly appreciative of my colleague’s attitude of pro-activeness, which he desired in his team mates. That conversation, made me reflect on a few of the interesting practices, our team has been very conscious about. And these practises, slowly have been building a foundation for a great culture.

One very distinct factor that I want to speak about is the openness with which we share information, knowledge and data about our company amongst ourselves. From the very beginning, our team has been very particular about transparency in every matter — be it about the revenue we receive every month or our burn rate or how much it is costing us to acquire a customer or why a particular investor was not so impressed with us.

In fact we lookup to a company called Buffer, when it comes to the standards they follow in transparency. Though there is a long way for us to be like Buffer, we are proud that we have been always conscious of in all our communications and actions when it comes to transparency.

How does Transparency or Openness really impact a team’s culture?

Here are a few of my insights from our experience,

  • When each team mate is empowered with all the information, of where we stand, how good or bad we are performing, would further raise important questions and in turn enable us to take those important decisions to steer the company in the right direction.
  • The burden of thinking, questioning, course correction need not be only in the hands of the C-Suite team members.
  • Many founders and entrepreneurs struggle to understand what really motivates an employee inspite of splurging perks around. One of the key element for an individual is, to be in an environment where they can independently think, contribute and feel part of company’s growth. And access to information is very critical for that.
  • Such sharing of information also gears or builds the next line of leadership.

Instead, of using hundreds of words under values, in a company’s booklet or on the walls of an organisation or in meetings, to convey that one trusts their employees, I think an act of transparency, openness speaks more loudly that one truly TRUST one another.

Would love to hear your stories around any experiments around transparency?

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