Why (and How to) Serve as a “Transparency Champion?”

Recently, I blogged about my new role as a “Transparency Champion.” Let me weigh in a little more about why I’m doing this, and then explain how I intend to pull it off.

As a keen student of corporate disclosure – it’s been my work life for over 35 years now – I’ve been thankful for how far we’ve come over the course of my career in providing better disclosure to the market and to all stakeholders. It’s really amazing to witness the narrowing gap between where we are now in terms of quality, volume and speed compared to 1988. That was truly the Dark Ages.

Doing this alongside Labrador, in an independent capacity, makes sense since I can clearly remember first engaging with this European-based firm over a dozen years ago and having a conversation with the founder about transparent disclosures and the need to have true alignment with investor expectations. Things have progressed nicely in the disclosure world since that engaging conversation.

But we still have a long way to go. Trust in Corporate America is way down. Trust in companies around the world has taken a beating. There’s really only one way to turn that around – build better corporate cultures that instill greater trust. Authentic communication practices are a big part of what it will take to instill trust to employees and other partners internally, and externally to investors and other stakeholders.

Transparent disclosure is the guiding light here, and this is how I can help.

I can help by providing practical guidance. I can help by providing real-world examples of what seems to work. And I can help by nudging others – and enlisting others to nudge as well – so we all can gracefully amble towards the goal line.

Smiling. Spreading positive energy. Helping all of us find more purpose in our work.

So how can I help us accomplish this?

1. RealTransparentDisclosure.com blog – In this blog, I’ll be providing you what you want. Practical guidance, both about the disclosures themselves and what happens behind the scenes – how the sausage is made; real-life stories. You will learn. You will be reassured (or not) about whether your own practices are sound. And maybe you will even be entertained. It’s okay for us to have a little fun with all of this.

2. Connecting directly with people – One of my strengths is outreach as I truly enjoy helping and connecting with others. I hope to continue doing that while wearing a “Transparency Champion” hat, helping to steer you towards better transparency and helping you find truth in your work.

3. The Transparency Awards – Through the Transparency Awards process and working with the Transparency Scientific Committee, I will help reward those that take our mission and message to heart and are successful in convincing the powers that be within their company to do the right thing and be more transparent.

Let me know what you think about all of this…

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