I visited the Synergy Hub, Decentrale, near Basel, CH last year where I met the founder Chris, and had a revealing conversation about the relationship between trust and transparency.

In short: Transparency is basically a means to (re-)establish trust when trust is lost. There is little to no room for gossip, speculation, and accusation when all information is available to the one who has lost trust.

For example: You begin to suspect that the finances are not stewarded responsibly in accordance with the values of the organization, and you blame the CFO. You begin to share your suspicion and gossip with your co-workers. All this is unknown to the CFO, as no-one dares to confront him with this suspicion for the fear of being fired (excluded from the group, and thereby being threatened in your survival). When all transactions of the organization are transparent and the books open then you can always check whether there is something to your supicion, or whether it is your own distrust making up stories.

Perhaps the following can be concluded: The more transparent communication and information is within an organization the quicker trust can be (re-)established.

You of course want to be carefull as to what and who you allow into your ecosystem in the first place, with sensitive information being available. It goes both ways – the more trust the more transparency. The more transparency the more trust…

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