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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Candidness in organizations

1:02 PM Posted by Deepak Nayal No comments

I am fond of reading business biographies and management books; nowadays, I am reading Execution, an excellent book by Larry Bossidy, former chairman of Honeywell group, and Ram Charan, a great business thinker. In one of the chapters, they mention that it is very important for an organization to promote candidness as it spreads free and clear thinking amongst employees. I have read quite a few articles as well that talk about promoting candidness. Jack Welch, one of the greatest business leaders of our times, is also a very strong promoter of it. However, even with such excellent references for the effectiveness of openness in an organization, do the organizations really exercise it? The answer is no. Or to be more precise, even though some organizations say that they promote candidness it is not effectively exercised at the ground level. So even though companies plan for it they fail to efficiently execute it.

I am not a business leader like Larry Bossidy or Jack Welch but I too am a strong believer in having candid environment in companies. I believe openness, if effectively exercised, can lead to innovation and better strategies. Candid environment will lead to employees speaking up their minds which may even lead to lower attrition rates in organizations. However, in the words of Mr. Bossidy, it won’t help a company to just declare that it does or will exercise open environment; they will have to put it to execution and that too effectively and uniformly throughout the entire organization. The top management will have to play a pivotal role in this. A leader is an ambassador of an organization if he wants the company to follow something he will have to exercise it himself first.

Unfortunately, some people think of candid behavior as immaturity. This is one misunderstanding which must be cleared up. Candidness and immaturity are very different characteristics. Immature person cannot be a leader as he does not have the capability to be one (though one can always work on oneself). A candid person, on the other hand, can be a very effective leader who lets his employees know his goals clearly. I think people who consider candid persons as immature are actually immature themselves and need to work on it.