Cards on the table
I have found in my 30 years in the workforce that there are two types of workplaces. The first kind is where information is freely available and moves in predictable, organic currents between people. The flow of information changes as and when it is needed to do the work that is required. In this workplace, people use the system and current of information for good, to enhance relationships and to build trust. In many respects, it’s like playing cards with an open deck. The cards are dealt, and everyone can see what’s on the table. There are no secrets; the cards are played honestly and players help each other to win.
The other type of workplace is where information is a commodity and held to ransom. In this workplace, information is a currency and is precious: who knows what about whom is kept closely guarded and is played as and when it is necessary, and not entirely for altruistic purposes. Information in this workplace is about manoeuvering oneself to either protect one’s ground (or self), gain ground, or sabotage the ground of others. Cards are held close to one’s chest, to be played only for individual gain, not for the greater good of the workplace.
Guess which workplace – in my experience, anyway – is the most common?
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