I was fascinated to read the results from the eclectically-named Essex Centre for the Study of Integrity (ECSI) survey on integrity in the UK which reported that, in general, the UK is less honest than 10 years ago.

The report showed some interesting changes – we have become less tolerant of benefit cheats for instance compared with 10 years ago, and we feel that this activity is effectively worse than tax-dodging (isn’t that almost the same thing?) or buying stolen goods.

Certainly in our business we feel that the role of transparency (business honesty?) is vital for effective management and growth. If you keep secrets about what is going on in the business from everyone else then it is recipe for disaster in one way or another.

This throws up a second issue in terms of personal responsibility in business which is; Are you happy that everyone in the business knows what everyone else is, and is meant to be, doing? Does such transparency drive a business forward or does it create open paranoia?
Certainly in our business we feel that the role of transparency is clear in that if you keep secrets about what is going on from everyone else then it is recipe for disaster – one way or another.

Certainly these days non-transparency from a customer point of view is almost certain to result in a social media backlash and a brand threat, but despite that I suspect that we have all seen examples of such behaviour already within 2012.
Certainly in our business we feel that the role of transparency is clear in that if you keep secrets about what is going on from everyone else then it is recipe for disaster in one way or another.

In the end are honesty, integrity and transparency key business values or do we agree with the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams who famously said “One man’s transparency is another’s humiliation.