Transparency-Truth or not the Truth, that is the Question


Members of an organization are in need of information.  They want to know what is going on and when something is going to occur.  However, can all members truly handle the truth?  To define members, this includes not only the employees, but the customers that we serve.  In nonprofits, this is the volunteers that help us accomplish the mission. Sometimes, it is the development of possibilities or trying to make something happen and the struggles involved.  Do all members truly need to know all the struggles that you face to make something happen?  Do they really need to hear all that information or the strategy used?

  • Truth that may change

The members do not always need to know every step of the way to get to a solution or possibility.  Some situations may not happen and therefore are not significant.  Although, if members are depending on a situation and know of the possibility, the members may need to know why it couldn’t or didn’t happen.  Sometimes members need to know that you at least tried to make it happen, and the reason why it couldn’t.

  • Sometimes it’s about waiting to get the question to release the information

If your company is working with integrity, there is nothing to hide.  Although, integrity is also protecting other’s involved.  Acting with integrity will often get reciprocated.

  • Everyone has an opinion and not everyone will agree to everyone else. In conclusion, you cannot appease everyone, and nor can you can care to appease everyone.  You will never accomplish anything if you are worried about making everyone happy.
  • Transparency seems ideal, although, is it realistic and allow you to continue to be successful?

Many members ask for the truth, yet may not be ready to hear it.  Sometimes information is withheld because you know that not all members are ready to hear the truth, and this will only negatively affect your success.

  • Releasing all to the truth may only draw attention

Sometimes, members may not even be aware of a situation.  Releasing this information to everybody will cause members to start to question topics that were never even looked at. Therefore, is being transparent worth all the efforts to make up the truth that individuals were not even aware of?

Being transparent is not always the answer.  Many opinions are formulated, intentional or not, that will be a detriment to your organization.  When your organization performs with integrity, often times the truth getting revealed does not hurt your organization.  Although, the members are not always ready for the truth.  Sometimes revealing information that members are not expecting, may give members a sense of satisfaction that transparency is there.  Although, follow through is key here.  However, change is such a common denominator in a variety of organizations.  The next time you are frustrated by lack of information, ask yourself, “Can you handle the truth?”


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