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About sweat stains and skid marks

How "simply open" makes us "simply scared"

Admittedly: we thought “simply open” was going to be much easier. Just like when we flipped the big switch and gave ourselves a new organisational structure, we thought: “It will be okay! We are just going to do it!” So simple.

While others describe our organisational form as “flat,” “without hierarchies,” “agile,” or even “chaotic,” we characterise it simply as “common sense.” It is definitely radically different. It is a way of working and functioning as an organisation that we deem necessary to continue to exist in a faster, more demanding world. So simple.

Honesty and trust

Just as simple as the next logical step in our evolution, namely, a completely transparent company. Simply open: we have described here what we mean by this. Simply put, this means a transparent company. See-through, so to speak. To show what we do, how we do it and why, the good, the bad and the ugly, all of our numbers, data, and figures. Without compromise. Essentially. So simple.

Question: why are you doing this? Answer: why not?

Transparency has something to do with honesty. Honesty is trust and trust is the basis for interaction with others. And when we are honest, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be open and transparent. So simple.

Because it is logical

When we look back, we realise that everything we have accomplished and gained in the past few years – all of the valuable contacts we have made, the partnerships we have forged and the friendships we have cultivated – are the result of openness and transparency (and, therefore, honesty). Whether thoughts, ideas, projects, products, or prices – openness has always been a positive thing for us. Not always easy. But positive in the end! Therefore, to become a transparent company is not only logical for us, but also unavoidable. When we imagined what this would look like and how we would implement it, we anticipated a lot of hard work. The thought of revealing our innermost essence and bearing all to others – to be vulnerable – made us a bit nervous.

Simply scared

Nevertheless, we began – with clammy fingers and sweaty armpits – our project “Simply Open.” We formulated, wrote, and posted. We opened ourselves up and tried to describe how things look from our perspective. A few weeks have now passed and our progress can be followed by reading our “Simply Open” blog. But those paying attention get only an overview and no insights. We have noticed: being simply open is not as easy as it sounds. After just a few weeks, we can now conclude the following about ourselves: we are “simply scared.” We expected sweaty armpits. Now we can add skid marks to the equation. Just great! After all the fuss we have made surrounding “Simply Open” and all of the mental exertion, we have created something we really set out to avoid: a completely normal company blog.

A new T-shirt and fresh knickers

Okay. Maybe the path to becoming a transparent company is not so easy. We now understand this. We are afraid to be completely open. But we don’t want to miss out on this experience. Toss the dirty T-shirt into the laundry and throw away the knickers. We carry on, with fresh cloths and newfound courage. We won’t always prevail and we might need to change our clothes a few more times. But we march on. And we resolve to be courageous. More courageous than ever!

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