Transparency is one of those key words the business community likes to throw around and has been doing so with great frequency the last few years. If you can master it, your reputation will be solid with your customers, which should help ensure your success.

Volkswagen_logo.svgNow, if you don’t think it’s important to be transparent, look at the trouble vehicle maker Volkswagen finds itself in. The company is struggling with a major scandal. Software that could be used to cheat on emissions tests was installed on 11-million of its diesel cars. This meant Volkswagen could brag about improved performance by allowing more pollutants to be emitted. But it’s alleged the deception didn’t end there. It’s being reported the 11-million vehicles affected is over 20 times the amount executives initially admitted to.

A culture of transparency might have prevented what the automaker’s chief executive, Martin Winterkorn refers to as the misconduct of very few employees. Even though Winterkorn is promising  a “ruthless examination” of how vehicles were programmed to evade emissions tests, it may be too late as some analysts predict the scandal might bring VW down.

Business transparency is at the top of many firms’ agendas because of the rise in social media networking.  Because people are revealing more about themselves, they in turn expect businesses to do the same about their operations and products.

One strategy involves promoting an honest and open approach in a companies communications. You don’t give away trade secrets, but you don’t hide anything that could harm the companies reputation in the future.

As was the case with Volkswagen, customers shouldn’t be fooled into believing false information about a company, because the damage that could ensue might be bad enough to destroy a business.

Other industries can learn a valuable lesson from the VW scandal. For instance in the oil industry if a company talks about its desire to protect the environment and ensure people are safe on rigs, then it had better be prepared to back up those claims with the proper equipment and practices in place.  Katch Kan’s team helps the oil industry do just that.

KK-StaffFor more than 20 years the Edmonton based company has been a leader in safety and environmental protection equipment. With Katch Kan’s products in place an oil company can be transparent about its operations, knowing it is doing what it can to live up to its promises and ensure its social license is secure.