We pursue deep trust with one another in many ways at Galois, and chief among them is our radical practice of transparency. Our approach to transparency can be summed up in one sentence: Our default is to make any piece of information transparent within the walls of Galois.
Among other things, every Galwegian has complete access to the following:
There may be be legal, ethical, or contractual constraints that prevent sharing select pieces of data (e.g., personnel records), but beyond that everything is available to everyone at Galois.
“We all have access to a complete picture of what is happening at the company.”
What does this mean for how we work together? As mentioned above, it builds trust between us, as nothing is hidden. We all have access to a complete picture of what is happening at the company, which enables us to make decisions with confidence instead of second-guessing hidden information that might undermine a decision. Our sense of ownership is thus increased at Galois, as is our resilience as a company. Because no single person holds exclusive ownership of information—a situation that leaves a company vulnerable in the event of said person being unavailable.
But being transparent does come with certain challenges. Sometimes the data being shared requires educating the recipient enough to consume the information effectively. For example, with company financials, our transparency practice allows for the time needed to brief the company on financials and decisions and the collective reasoning behind them.
Our practice of transparency comes with time commitments to brief the company on financials and decisions and the collective reasoning behind them.
Salary transparency requires well-defined standards and practices that not only make clear what a Galwegian’s salary may be, but also the criteria for deciding that salary.
A potential challenge lies in achieving the right balance between proactive communication and proactive consumption. If we explicitly publish everything (say, via email, at all-hands meetings, or on our internal wiki), then everyone would be inundated with too much data. Instead, we are all encouraged to seek out the information that interests them. One helpful practice in the Collaborative Web that of councils, where the details of issues and decisions are discussed by all council members, with each member serving as a conduit to others in the company when needed.
That being said, is it worth the effort to confront these challenges transparently? We think so, because our work comes down to making good decisions. In our experience, better decisions are made when we have access to all the information we need.