Michael View

Lesson from Murdoch #1 – Practice Business Transparency

23 July 2011

The recent and continuing tide of negativity that has surrounded News Corp after its phone hacking scandal is once again testimony that it never pays to build a castle on quicksand.

The mighty News Corp came crashing down faster than lightning speed after the scandal was made public. It resulted in shameful closure of the once popular newspaper News of the World and ruined the credibility of news publications across the UK, perhaps further still.

Journos are at best a mildly trusted bunch of professionals. They are not exactly the most favoured of all people in the eyes of the masses. Sadly, it appears that a bunch of scheming and corrupt journalists used unsavoury methods to get a story.

Senior executives at News Corp apparently never saw it coming, despite previous police and internal inquiries…

How to Avoid a Murdoch-ian Disaster in Your Business

You don‘t have to have an empire the size of News Corp. A disaster like the phone hacking scandal can strike anyone at any time. Unless you come prepared.

If you employ people in your business; whether that is in-house or by means of outsourcing certain business tasks, you must practice absolute transparency to avoid potential lawsuits.

Here are ways to do this in style.

  • Create a mission statement and make it the foundation of doing business
  • Have everyone sing to the same tune, try and simplify your business to make it understandable by all staff; what is your primary objective; how will clients be handled; who is responsible for XYZ; how will you handle complaints, etc.
  • Prepare a MO (Modus Operandi) is by far the best way to detail your business across all departments: from marketing to sales to client management.

Any rule is useless unless it is somehow controlled and enforced. No one expects you to stand by and hassle your staff 24/7. In fact you want to give them credit for making independent decisions and acting from good judgement.

Having said this, you also want to have measures in place that review the processes on a regular basis.

Transparency Improves Performance

It has been observed by savvy businesses that increased transparency fosters improved performance. When your team knows what strings to pull and how they are more inclined to excel in their day-to-day operations.

The Most Important Part of Being Transparent

I can‘t stress enough how important it is to actually have systems in place that monitor your team‘s performance and actions. This is where junior and senior management can play their best game.

The secret to playing the game at the top level lies in keeping control of who pulls the strings in your company. Trusting your staff is great, but ultimately keeping control is protecting you, the owner against nuclear disasters like the one News Corps is dealing with right now.

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