The Wicked Company
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The Wicked Company

Do you want to hear this?

Thought of Today:

You are at a new company. Your job is to understand the context, the organisations and your role and responsibilities. Most organisations are complex and messy. You are asked to look at a particular area of a project and report back your findings. You are told not to mention certain things to the ‘boss’. What do you do? As a leader, how do you maintain transparent conversations?

In my 20 years of change and transformation, I have often been introduced to new organisational contexts, more often than the average worker. I have had very welcoming experiences and very toxic ones. I once had a colleague text me within a meeting ‘not to go there’, with a client. Felt like a movie and I am wondering, are some clients really that kind of fragile?

Especially when you are new, you have a short-lived opportunity to make an impression without knowing what the reaction might be.

Do you want to establish yourself as a straight talker and ruffle some feathers, or will the clarity of your contribution impress everyone in the room?

Here is what I found:

  • Use your newness to be able to ask questions no one dares to ask anymore; you are new, you are more likely to be forgiven
  • Clarity is one of the most-cited positive characteristics in business and leadership. Use it.
  • If you let politics sneak in, then you quickly become part of the problem that you are there to solve. You are undermining your potential effectiveness.

One thing leaders and the leadership level often miss indeed getting information straight. Middle management tends to obfuscate information flow. It is unfortunately built into the very system of most organisations.

An open and transparent conversation often holds organisations back from having a realistic vision and direction.

In today’s world, the leadership that does not create clarity and open conversations, where everything is on the table, shouldn’t be sitting on that table, as it is prone to fail.

What are your experiences?

As a leader, how do you make sure the conversation is open and transparent?

As a non-leader, what are your worries and opportunities when having those conversations in meetings?

Theses are some of the things we discuss in The Wicked Podcast and thoughts and experiences I expressed in my book The Wicked Company.

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Marcus Kirsch

Marcus Kirsch

Innovation, Service Design & Transformation specialist. Keynote speaker and author. Opinions are my own.