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Take the First Step to a Transparency Mindset

Transparency Standards®:
The First Step to a Transparency Mindset

Transparency is a mindset. When you’re willing to declare your goals and values publicly, you are exposing yourself to the accountability of others. That’s a courageous gesture in a corporate world where many choices are clearly made to avoid liability. The act of creating Transparency Standards leads to a transparency mindset, not just for company leaders, but for the entire organization. Transparency Standards are thus a giant first step toward building a culture of transparency.

The Basics of Transparency Standards®

So, what are Transparency Standards? They are company statements that broadcast clear and measurable positions on company actions, and that meet three critical criteria:

  1. Written.
  2. Publicly available.
  3. Industry-leading.

Company actions span many relationships and values, so the scope of Transparency Standards is broad. They encompass interactions with customers, suppliers and employees, as well as company stances on diversity, ethics, communications, privacy and even cultural practices.

Transparency Standards®
the first KPI
Transparency Standards®

Here’s an example. Clothing maker Patagonia publishes ‘sustainability principles’ that anyone can access, outlining working conditions, materials sourcing and all kinds of additional info about the company’s terms across its supply chain. That is a prime model of Transparency Standards – written, publicly available, and above and beyond the industry norms.

Standards vs. Everyday Policies: the Critical Difference

Okay, companies need policies, you might be thinking. Nope. Policies are the industry-level norm. Policies are the safe version. Policies are what regulatory bodies force a company to uphold.

In contrast, Transparency Standards push the boundaries for a leadership stance and display measurable, accountable goals. They set the bar higher. If peers say they “embrace diversity,” a leader in Transparency Standards says, “we aim for x% of leadership roles to be filled by candidates meeting [stated diverse criteria].”

Standing out with Transparency Standards

In establishing Transparency Standards, companies rally every part of their organization toward a culture of accountability and ethical leadership. This culture builds trust, which drives client retention and employee satisfaction, which ultimately improve profitability.

Despite this return on investment, Transparency Standards are not the norm. In fact, they remain rare, even among larger publicly traded companies. The transparency wave is just beginning, with only a few early movers collecting the benefits. What’s more, this powerful mechanism is accessible to all. Any company, large or small, can choose to establish Transparency Standards and begin to reap the returns.

Transparency Changes Everything®!
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