Transparency & Tuition Fees: An Update

Andrew Hickey’s comment on the Tuition Fees post yesterday was timely.

Support for the LibDems has now slumped to its lowest level since the formation of the party in 1988.

If this level of support does not improve, the LibDems would be reduced to only 11 MPs – from the current 57 – at the next election.

In a strange coincidence of themes, both the WikiLeaks and Tuition Fees posts are echoed by yesterday’s Indepedent editorial:

“Lib Dem ministers would not have been caught out by undercover reporters last month uttering criticisms of the Tories in private if they only had the nerve and honesty to say such things publicly…A bit more openness would make for more transparent government, and might save the Liberal Democrats from imploding.” You heard it here first.

Stop Messaging, Start Communicating

Happy New Year to One and All.

This post looks at what has happened to communication in the workplace. It argues that we must stop using electronic and digital mechanisms as a substitute for, or an easy way to avoid, more meaningful communication.


  • There has been an explosion in the number of mechanisms and channels we can use to contact other people;
  • The desire to avoid ‘difficult’ interactions with other people is not a product of this explosion, but it has been greatly facilitated by it;
  • We are increasingly using electronic and digital means to convey messages which should be delivered in person;
  • This is leading to relationship breakdowns in the workplace, and is helping to loosen the already frayed bonds between people and their organisations;
  • Research suggests that teenagers – the next generation of leaders and managers – already prefer texting to voice or face-to-face conversation, as they can avoid ‘messy’ and uncontrolled interaction by doing so;
  • The task of leadership cannot be accomplished if we continually avoid dealing with real people in real time;
  • Leaders need to challenge their motives for using electronic and digital mechanisms so freely: avoiding interaction with people is a negation of leadership.

I am really very interested in readers’ stories and reflections on this subject. Please email or, better still, leave a comment here for other readers to see.

WikiLeaks: Challenging Attitudes to Transparency


In this post the WikiLeaks saga is reviewed and lessons for change leadership identified. The main messages are:

  • The main casualty to date of the WikiLeaks affair is the US government’s careful orchestration of international perception;
  • The tension between what we say in public and think in private is not just an issue in international diplomacy;
  • In business, this tension emerges clearly in times of change;
  • Leaders often decline to tell it like it is because they prefer to avoid conflict and challenge;
  • These are not good reasons to simply play the game: ‘shadow’ change programmes develop, where all the important decisions are made and deals are done behind the scenes;
  • This does not advance the cause of best practice in delivering change;
  • Sometimes a more transparent and direct approach is simply more efficient and effective.

This post is presented in pages 1-9: please see below to navigate to specific page numbers. Headings are on page 2.

Please comment on this post whether you agree or not with the messages.