Episode 95
Guest: Elize Bosker

Radical Transparency

Mar 1 / Petra Färm
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Implementing product operations
The topic of today is Transparency and I must admit that I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. So, I looked it up. First in my English dictionary

Definition of transparency

1: the quality or state of being transparent

2: something transparent

The transparency of ice. You can see the fishes through the ice, can you? I don’t think I ever have. But I have seen the greenness of the artificial grass through the ice on the bandy rink.

But what does it mean when we talk about companies?

From Wikipedia:

"Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in other social contexts, is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. Transparency implies openness, communication, and accountability."

Let’s try the theory in an example.

I just recently through the wonderful GS1 Sweden (to simplify they do barcodes) learned something new about traceability and the power of digital identities. Say for example that you buy a pair of shoes online: these shoes may have traveled quite a lot. We all know that they are manufactured somewhere and that the central warehouse is someplace else and then I live in a third place. But I had never thought that they might actually have been returned by a previous customer, then they are sent to a repacking central before sent back to the warehouse and then to me.

Would it then be transparent of the online company to tell me, if I want to return the shoes, what the extra footprint would be? OR is it better to say upfront that on average any pair of shoes bought here has traveled around the globe 2.5 times? Or what is transparency, really?

I have no idea.

The good thing though is that we have an absolute expert with us: wonderful, amazing Elize Bosker who has done some beloved talks at product conferences on the topic of Radical Transparency.

Elize, it was great having you on the show!