So where was I?
Ah yes. In my last post I expressed dismay at the way that my own posts, as well as some discussions on other blogs, were treating the issue of transparency. It seemed to me that we were going ’round in circles, with a lot of hand wringing and caveats and personal opinions getting in the way of coming to any conclusions.
My primary problems with the way that “transparency” is being discussed are:
1. We seem to be equating “transparency” with “being honest when we screw-up”. Now this sort of honesty may well be a fruit of transparency, but it isn’t all that transparency entails.
2. We also seem to be confusing personal transparency with the sort of transparency that we expect from politicians and/or business leaders in their professional dealings/practices. Again, I’d like to think that professional/political transparency is often the fruit of one’s personal transparency, but I would argue that being transparent in one’s fiscal processes (for example) is different than being personally transparent.
I think that we need to recognize the difference between transparency as a way of being vs transparency as a description of a set of behaviors. As long as we define transparency as something that we do, rather than something that we are, we are going to run into roadblocks, exceptions, and quandries.
More on this over the next few days. If you want to read what some other bloggers have had to say, visit:
KW Leslie’s Baring the Secrets of the Soul
John Smulo’s Wanna Play Peek-a-Boo?
Sally Coleman’s Just as I am. . .reflections on transparency