Of the four directors attending the meeting, two respect his request for confidentiality and two immediately debrief their direct reports!
The debriefed direct reports hint over lunch to their non-debriefed direct report colleagues that they are privy to information that their peers are unaware of. The non-debriefed then tale their director line managers to task for their inability to share.
This is not a fictional situation. I know of one company where it happens a lot. And I sympathize with the two directors who did not debrief, because they were compromised by their fellow directors.
It’s a situation which highlights a big leadership problem: who should know what and to what extent should information be available to all levels in an organization.
Difficult one… but let’s address it with some good old-fashioned logic.
First of all, people must have all the information they need to do their job. That’s a no-brainer.
Secondly, your staff should know in reasonable time about any changes in working practices or in their job descriptions, in the management structure or regarding their remuneration package. That’s common courtesy.
Everyone at all levels should have a reasonable handle on your corporate strategy. That makes sure you’re all facing in the right direction and haves the right context for the work you do.
And talking of strategy, everyone should have the opportunity to attend the company conference or ’satellite’ meetings/corporate televised de-briefings.
But staff do not need to know their colleagues salaries. They don’t need to know about commercially sensitive information where there’s the risk of a company-damaging leak. In fact, they simply do not need to know everything.
And if the MD asks for confidentiality… then that’s what he or she should reasonably expect.
Tags: attendees brainer briefings colleagues confidentiality corporate strategy extent fellow directors job descriptions line managers logic lunch management structure managing director peers remuneration package right direction salaries satellite meetings working practices