Listening to the mirror of life. Transparency

//Listening to the mirror of life. Transparency
Mirror of life Netplan

Listening to the mirror of life… Transparency

Netplan is asking its friends the meaning of few words, a path to our souls. Please feel free to comment.

Transparency: let anyone see clearly what you do, because you try your best to do it with honesty, competence, passion and dedication.

Ester Loconsole, philosopher, Cenacolo Missionario Comboniano

I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it.

Howard Schultz, former Chairman of Starbucks

Transparency: seeing inside, seeing through, seeing all that is able to characterize. Transparency to learn, to know oneself and each other, to recognize oneself and each other, to discover the authenticity of the relationship. Consistency between espoused and enacted values. Behaviour displayed through modalities reflecting the true principles which inspired it.

Carlo Alberto Giovanardi, Corporate Lawyer, Giovanardi Pototschnig & Associati

Clothes do not make the man. If you’re not a monk, even if you wear the monk’s dresses, sooner or later someone will find out you’re lying. However, if you’re a monk, wearing the right dress helps to identify you and enhance your value, with no additional effort and extra time for people approaching you. Effective communication works exactly the same way. Authenticity rewards! The message is clear and the relationships trusted and everlasting. In Business as much as in personal life. “Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self” (Gandhi).

Paola Cellini, Marketing and Communication manager, Communisis Group

We need to be transparent within ourselves, first. “which are the real reasons why I am acting like this?” we should ask, “which desires am I actually serving? How much are they relevant for me?” this exercise makes us discover it all, good or bad. If we succeed in being transparent to ourselves about our desires, it is more difficult that our desires overcome and damage us.

Professor Emanuele Pinelli, author and philosopher

Transparency is not always the easiest or the most convenient choice in the short term and it always needs to be balanced with opposed but necessary values: privacy for the companies, the State reason for the Governments. In the end, transparency is the key for leaders, for society as a whole and for markets to regain the confidence in their stakeholders. As confirmed by many business consultancy gurus, it is time to fight the pervasive lie: from fake news to the disregarded electoral promises, from the little lie on the curriculum vitae to the big multinationals’ deceptions.

Licia Soncini, political analyst and corporate advisor, Nomos

Acting with transparency: any think I do that my wife would agree on…

Lorenzo Tordelli, expert in international cooperation, Istituto Italo-Latino Americano

Netplan’s humble opinion

As a person, I have always admired and tried to support people that acted with transparency, because they are not afraid to share their intimate self with us; to be transparent we need to be generous and courageous, there may be no other reward than progress of human kind, a sufficient motivation for the best.

In business, it is difficult to find reliable data on the economic benefit of transparency but having had the privilege of serving as an executive in different Countries, I have direct experience on how darkness favors corruption which subtracts resources, discourages investments and makes any initiative less successful.

I have been astonished by a comment in an E&Y survey: “almost 1 in 5 company employees, regardless of grade, consider it acceptable to pay bribes to win or retain business” (E&Y: European fraud survey 2011). We are speaking about Europe, the Europe we are proud of. Transparency International latest Global Corruption Barometer reports that 36% of the people interviewed around 119 Countries considers police and elected officials corrupt, 30% considers judges corrupt. On average studies on corruption assign from 10 to 25% the cost of corruption, which implies that a world based on transparent behavior of companies, public administration and individuals would have enough resources to win forever hunger and global poverty.

What can Netplan and its associates do to contribute bottom up to eradication of corruption? Besides refusing to work with organizations that have unclear policies and those who encourage “cutting edges”, we can list the benefits of transparency in managing organizations; based on our experience and far from being exhaustive, we propose four concepts:

  1. Transparent systems mean stronger employee motivation and client confidence: they make the organization more resilient, everyone has a clear understanding of what is needed to achieve clearly defined goals; differing opinions can be more easily resolved based on clear facts and complete information, no manipulation of data can be used to achieve personal goals against the higher interest of the organization; clients build confidence on how the company is addressing their needs and their relationship is more resilient during turbulent times. Manage by making values and objectives clear, not by providing instructions!
  2. Transparent organizations allow chief executives to delegate with confidence. Every manager laments the long working hours and the high psychological pressure of responsibility; the simpler and the more transparent the processes are, the easier is for junior people to take responsible decisions, elevating to top management only those strategic issues that deserve attention. Again, a clear, live and shared set of corporate values is the foundation of a transparent organization: manage with long term vision, take long term decisions and be always ready to be replaced suddenly!
  3. Transparent regulations make it easier for stakeholders to consider the benefit of a project; risk management is the basis for success: removing regulatory risks from the scenarios often results in being able to focus exclusively on the merits of products and services offered. Netplan can measure quite accurately the discounts to economic value that retroactive regulations and slow judiciary processes have caused to some major clients: up to 60% firm value in recent cases, which implied zero equity for multimillion dollar investments, failed transactions, bankruptcy of valuable initiatives in wrong regulatory environment; use crystal clear communication to build stakeholders confidence!
  4. Full transparency is the best defense: it leaves enemies and competitors without the most dangerous weapon: suspect, against which no defense is fully effective. I learned it from a lawyer defending an innocent client from criminal charges: full disclosure left prosecutor with no tool to worsen a simple case. I have then seen it work in multiple cases of product liability, of conflict avoidance, of harsh negotiations: disarm your opponent with bare, well documented truth!

What can all of us do to implement a more just and transparent society? Act with confidence, exclude people, partners, colleagues that round corners to get short term benefits, select the right partners, invest in Countries that value transparency, make crystal-clear policies our competitive advantage.

Shall we lose competitiveness because of our transparency? When I was consulting for large government-owned corporations, the strategic plan was secret, each copy marked to a specific executive. The result was best employees ignoring the targets and acting with best intentions but no real control and poor focus… On the contrary, when working with stock listed multinationals whose strategy had been made clearly available to shareholders and potential investors, the sense of purpose was clear, and the effectiveness of the organization was the main key competitive tool to win in the marketplace.

Our recommendation: have a clear, shared corporate vision, and live it as a lighthouse to sail with confidence even during turbulent times.

Our Team

Since its foundation, Netplan’s aim has been to aggregate professionals that shared the same commitment to support financially and with part of their time…

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25 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Dr. Herta von Stiegel Maggio 27, 2018 at 11:13 am - Reply

    I concur absolutely! In a cross-cultural context, we also need simple, clear processes to ensure transparency.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:40 am - Reply

      with this respect, by be a relevant investor in Africa, Herta, you may have an active role in promoting the benefits of transparency. best of luck to Aryia Capital, pp

  2. Avatar
    Adriano Schembri Volpe Maggio 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Transparent=Light!
    Being Light you, and your company, can be agile, move fast, run, and fly!
    With Light you can see the whole landscape, deeply analyse scenario, and always define the best direction to go!

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

      light and transparency makes you go faster and with more confidence. but as Giacomo says, it is a matter of relationship, and to really work must become bi-directional, pp

  3. Avatar
    Francesco Rendina Maggio 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    La trasparenza favorisce senza dubbio la fiducia ma in un caso almeno l’eccesso di trasparenza puo’ essere addirittura controproducente. In ambito bancario le disposizioni in materia di trasparenza risalgono ai primi anni ’90, la disciplina e’ oramai vastissima ed in continua evoluzione. L’intento e’ quello di tutelare consumatori, risparmiatori ed investitori ma a crescere e’ la sfiducia e il senso di insicurezza. It’s better clarity than transparency!

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

      I am not sure that clarity is better than transparency: I think we need both, let me think it better though, pp

  4. Avatar
    Giulio Cicoletti Maggio 28, 2018 at 5:53 am - Reply

    Transparency is surely an engaging word. It would be interesting to complte the surveys quoted in the article with the meaning given to it by the participants to each survey. As a word in include a concept, whose disclosure is not immediate. Generally speaking, I do not believe there is an unique concept of transparency, as it depends on the subject ivolved and the environment whre he/she is building up his/her development. To an ignorant person as I am it comes easy to collect the idea to the more eneral concept of the human living as autopoietic subject who establishes a constructive relationship with its medium (please se Maturanta et Valery). In that sense, – while moving from the general theory and adimitting the existnce of autopoietic subject of first level (the single human being) and of higher level of complexity (organisations of individuals) – transparency should be a concept shared by idividual of the organisation so to became one of the basic dimensions of the shared medim that individual need to find to be constructive part of a developing organisations (of individuals.)
    Hence, and make it simpler, is can be part of the values and the goals of the organisation, as communicated to the “external stakeholdrs”. But to get this ai it should became the lifeblood of the organisation as selfstransforming subject, who can develop and survive only if its components (the individuals) and their respective relations do develop constructively.
    Now, how many organisation are ready to admit that the individuals they are composed of can live difficult periods, can have specific issues or needs, could be needful of help not only from the professional point of view? Which is the real and relative value given to transparent personal behaviour vs fictional professional behaviour?
    I am sure the answer can only testify we can expect better time to come, to take it positevely.
    But if thsi si true, transparency – as organisations attitude – is based not only on values and long term objectives, but also on short term policies and instructions on behaviour. Is based on increased quality of leadership, construction of a confident environment where sudenly replacement should never be caused by human default, but instead by evidence that the personal behaviour is sowing seeds which will infringe the buiding concept of the common medium of transparency.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Giulio, start completing the survey by investigating with your associates, it may be revealing! thanks, pp

  5. Avatar
    Giacomo Dachille Maggio 28, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Transparency should be at the root of the human existence.
    What relationship, company, politics, love, life, can be true and successfull, in long term, if based on lie?
    Transparency give you the chance to be yourself and decide without any external pression. Always.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Giacomo, what you are implying is that Transparency is all about relationship, you are right, pp

  6. Avatar
    LUCA SALVI Maggio 28, 2018 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Transparency is related with long term benefits and goals. Taking shortcuts and bribing can produce some results in the very short term but it never helps in long term. I can hardly remember one single case where companies known to bribe to attract businesses were not discovered and blacklisted by clients – sooner or later. And companies that were left aside by corrupted client’s executives became winners in the long term. Also because corruption adds costs that in a ultra-competitive environment are no more sustainable in the value chains.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Luca, I like the link between transparency and long term vision, pp

  7. Avatar
    Filippo Chiesa Maggio 28, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Very thoughtful piece. There are some key values in business and life for which it may be hard to find hard data supporting them, but evidence can be found in many different ways: for example by looking at the organisations adopting certain values and comparing them with those that do not.

    My favourite sentence in the article: “to be transparent we need to be generous and courageous, there may be no other reward than progress of human kind, a sufficient motivation for the best”

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Filippo, only when forced to think about transparency I realized it is mostly a matter of confidence in myself that makes me more open. I am surprised that many other comments pointed ot the same, pp.

  8. Avatar
    Luca di Giacomo Maggio 28, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Transparency: a concept,an idea. The question is: why it’s so difficult to apply it? Why we perceive its lack? I think that the reason is that we have lost the concept of competence. Transparency is not to be worry to discuss openly and this is possible only if we know deeply what we are talking about. Let’s start talking only about what we really know.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 29, 2018 at 10:20 am - Reply

      You are right Luca, only if you are sure of yourself, you can be fully transparent, pp.

  9. Avatar
    Bettina Charrière Maggio 31, 2018 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Transparent leadership is not only about sharing what we know – even more important might by an open approach to what we don’t know. Most leaders are used to stand in front of the team and give answers. Only few are sharing the question marks and uncertainties they have, since it could be perceived as weakness. Engaging your team to generate questions and demonstrating that you don’t have all the answers can produce unexpected new insights and a strong sense of shared ownership.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Maggio 31, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Bettina, you are introducing an additional important side to Transparency. Overcoming our fears to expose our weaknesses in order to receive contributions from the team is indeed a great sign of maturity, and a valuable contribution to the common goals

  10. Avatar
    Marco Marinoni Giugno 1, 2018 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    In my little experience, a transparent approach put you at a higher level by default.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Giugno 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      little experience? you have seen more CEOs in your “little” experience than most of us in our lifetime. What you are saying, though, is that people at the top, if they want to endure, must build their success on transparency. I have the same experience.

  11. Avatar
    Eduard Felder Giugno 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Totally agree that a shared corporate vision is key to guide through difficult times and helps overcoming obstacles of all kinds, when we need reference points and motivation to fuel all efforts. Transparency is key to build trust, to consolidate and promote an organisation’s ‘culture’, the essentials for anyone to spot and understand toxic developments, prevent their spread and create sustainable progress

    • Avatar
      Netplan Giugno 4, 2018 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Ed, I see the advantage of transparency in organizations is clear motivation to pursue shared goals.

  12. Avatar
    Susanna Ramundo Giugno 10, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Transparency is a way of live. Some years ago, someone said “Do not do to another, what you wouldn’t to be done to you”. It would be nice follow these feeling in life and job.

  13. Avatar
    Ester Abbattista Gennaio 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    La trasparenza è la capacità che un oggetto ha di far guardare oltre l’oggetto stesso. Nella tradizione ebraica la trasparenza è espressione di santità: chi è santo è trasparente proprio perché attraverso la sua esistenza si può guardare oltre, si può scorgere la luce che lo anima e che lo attraversa, si può intra-vedere Dio. La trasparenza di un’azienda dovrebbe essere qualcosa di simile: non solo la possibilità di vedere cosa vi è dentro, ma anche di vedere attraverso, di vedere l’oltre, quel futuro di luce che l’azienda stessa fa trasparire nel suo presente. Trasparenza, dunque, come lettura della realtà dove nell’oggi è visibile anche il domani.

    • Avatar
      Netplan Gennaio 24, 2019 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      dovremmo abituarci a distinguere nell’oggi i segni del domani. Solo cosi’ possiamo rendere sostenibile il cammino della nostra vita, che inevitabilmente incide su quelli che percorreranno le generazioni future

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