Guess what? Lately I have become obsessed with transparency! The more I work on it, the more I realise that transparency is at the very core of any healthy business relationship.
It works inside an organisation, it works between organisations. It’s the essential ingredient to build trust and understanding.
Whether it’s the relationship between an agency and a client, between a consultant and a partner, or between two folks working in the same organisation, I’m starting to believe that total transparency is pretty much always the way to go.
Especially when the relationship with a client is concerned it usually feels strange. Sometimes very strange. Let’s admit it: total honesty is not the traditional way to go with clients. Forcing oneself to admit mistakes, flaws and wrong decisions doesn’t come natural.
Yet, while this approach will probably not fit all kind of clients, it does fit the type of clients I enjoy working with.
And it’s not just that total transparency helps building a solid and trustworthy relationship, it’s also that transparency to the process helps clients understanding the process, which is extremely important when knowledge exchange is at the core of the relationship.
As an example, I find that removing all boundaries that separate internal from external communication in the relationship between agency and clients is incredibly effective. Creating only a single pool where all information is condensed (it can be a Yammer site or a shared repository on Github) not only gets information flowing much faster but is also a great way to remove that “us vs. them” attitude which can irreparably taint a business relationship.