Steering Around Pitfalls: Too Much Transparency in Operations

We tout the importance at every juncture of transparency when navigating through transitions and changes in an organization. Clear, concise communication starts from the top and trickles down. However, there are situations that we’ve encountered that become perilous because there is too much transparency. Yes – we said it – there can be too much of a good thing. 

While transparency still is a cornerstone of efficiency and collaboration, it’s a double-edged sword. Here are the situations we’ve dealt with that we chalk up to ‘too much transparency’.

The Paradox of Choice

Excessive information transparency is an ironic paradox of choice. Over the last few years we added a new phrase to our vocabulary to pinpoint the exhaustion of having to make decisions about whether a situation was safe or not… decision fatigue! However, that concept is applicable to being overwhelmed by having too many choices and too much information available at the ready. When there are too many options, it can quickly become paralyzing. 

The Solution: Narrow down the available choices when presenting options to your team. One isn’t a choice. Two isn’t enough. Three or four is spot on.
Finite Cognitive Bandwidth

We frequently discuss the perils of having unparalleled amounts of data available at our fingertips 24/7. This not only requires boundaries, but a reconsideration of the choices we present to our teams. Too much data is a strain on cognitive bandwidth and diminishes the ability to process and comprehend the details. When you have too many details – like 156 pages of intense details in the name of data transparency – that’s too much. Our brains cannot process the vast amount of information in order to make an education decision.

The Solution: Streamline and keep it high level. 
Information and Data Security

While openness is essential for collaboration, sharing sensitive information without discretion can be harmful. This is particularly true in industries where proprietary processes and intellectual property are at stake. However, this isn’t limited to just processes and systems. Think about salaries, bonuses, and information that can breed resentment amongst colleagues in lieu of fostering collaboration and cross-functional development. 

The Solution: Protect confidential, proprietary information. No exceptions. 
Don’t Forget About The People Behind It!

We sound like a broken record, but processes and systems are nothing without the people integrating the changes. It’s crucial to recognize that not all individuals have the same level of comfort, flexibility, and capacity to handle and comprehend hundreds of pages of data to make decisions, and then communicate about it. While others may thrive in an environment where there is an abundance of information to fish through, others will become overwhelmed and panic stricken. 

The Solution: Moderate through your content to understand how it will be received by the end user. Not just your intention in creating and disseminating the document. 

If this issue resonates with you and your organization, follow the team at Poka-Yoke Solutions or reach out to our Founder and CEO to schedule a discovery call and learn how we’ve transformed 45+ organizations across 24 industries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>