Thursday, September 17, 2009

Openness and transparency

They seem like such favourite buzzwords in the corporate world. All this talk of the utopian little universe ( umm office) where hierachies have been flattened, levels reduced, there is free flow of communication. Both up and down. but wait, we just flattened the hierarchy right, ok then, so lets just say there's free flow of communication.

And of course there is much todo about openness and transparency.

Sometimes, some places seem to make an honest effort. To actually do things transparently.

But I wonder, if perhaps its a cultural thing, specially in India, to fight against these things. To go out of the way, to close ranks, create hierarchies, use information as power, firmly treat managers as bigger people than others, try to keep people in their "place" so to say.

I'm not saying that other countries/cultures have an inherently open or better culture. Just that here we seem to pay inordinate amounts of importance to things like years of experiance at work. We instinctively classify parts of work as lower grade ( yes my tech coolie job certainly is one of them) And an honest attempt at openness is actively discouraged. Very actively, by whatever means necessary.

All very well, maybe with our current kind of work, that is the only system that can work. Maybe assembly line sweatshops can only operate in that environment, and not in one of the utopian concepts.

But can you actually have creative output in that environment? Can you actually make the much envied "world class product" in such a setting? I don't think so. I might be motivated to keep my head above water, but beyond that.. ?

Who knows.

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