Monday, December 3, 2007

The Goal Towards "Transparent"

It'll take some serious work. And some guts, honestly. It won't be easy and we'll probably have to deal with some "should we really be doing this?" self-doubt along the way.

It's the goal of Transparency.

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. Context is needed. So let me go all the way back to this morning....

We had our big annual Full Team Meeting this morning. The one with Everyone in the company. All 227 of us (minus one pre-excused absence and an inevitable 'out sick' person or two). Steve and I did about an hour's worth of speechification, covering the major topics of Where We've Been / How We Got Here, Where We Are Now, and the requisite Where We Are Going.

All in all, I think it was a great meeting. The previous night's festivities of the annual Team Stone Holiday Party probably didn't hurt (although it may have muted the liveliness a little).

In the looking forward part, Steve and I talked about Transparency. The idea of opening our books to the team. While I believe in the idea, a lot in fact, it can still feel a little awkward for someone who often plays close to the chest. Truth of the matter that in today's world, things are complicated enough without us building unneeded cloaks of mystery around them.

When it comes to consumer products, I've always liked the ones that tell me the truth the best. Partly because they tell me the truth, and partly because these same truth-tellers tend to make the best stuff. Part and parcel.

As a brewery, we've always been pretty straightforward in our endeavours. Want to know how our beer is made? Come out and let us show you around! We itch for the opportunities to not only show off 'what' we do, but also 'how' we do it. And we're certainly not alone, as this is a common element in the ethos of artisan producers, no matter what they make.

And on the opposite side of the equation, I've always had a special spot reserved for those that I feel layer in a level or two of bullshit into what they try and get me to believe about their product or company. And it's not a good spot. I, like most people, don't like to be fooled. Interestingly, it's not actually "most people" according to some research (cited at the end of this very interesting article), and there's a split between "boomers" and gens "X" and "Y." Looks like I align with the latter's views.

But I digress. A little. be continued in the next post....

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