Transparency of Information in a Startup

One of the best ways to built trust in a startup is through transparency of information. The author Jack Stack argues for extreme transparency in his book The Great Game of Business. Transparency, to me, is a great way to get everyone on the same page company-wide, align interests, and engender trust. Communication of information, especially information that changes frequently, is one of the more difficult parts of building transparency into the culture.

Here are some techniques to help facilitate transparency of information in a startup:

  • LCD scoreboard in the lobby with near real-time information on progress towards goals
  • Simplified One Page Strategic Plan updated and rolled out to all team members quarterly with financial information like revenue
  • Bottom-up daily check-ins throughout the organization
  • Anonymous town hall questions where nothing is off limits
  • Discourse and explanations around company changes as opposed to edicts with no reasoning

Creating an environment of transparency is tough and requires commitment from the top down. These techniques and methodologies help set the tone and promote transparency.

What else? What some other ways to promote transparency of information in a startup?

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