December 11, 2013

Candor, as far as buzz-worthy topics go, seems to be torpedoing toward its awareness tipping point – and that can only mean good things for our organizations, our associates and our success.

More and more, I am hearing our global business leaders, top consultants, authors and speakers make a case for candor:

  • – openness and honesty – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
  • – talk straight and no spin – Stephen M.R. Covey, Author of The Speed of Trust
  • – telling our stories – Michelle McKenna, CIO for the NFL

And these are just a handful of the people I’ve written about lately. No matter which way they say it, people are emphasizing the value of candor, expecting it from themselves and demanding it from others.

There is even a ranking of companies based on candor. Not on profits, or the “best places to work” or fastest growing (though, those things seem to fall into place, too) but the most candid. The 2012 CEO Candor Survey, by RittenhouseRankings, confirms that “companies excelling in candor substantially outperform the market.”. They state:

“For the seventh consecutive year, the top-quartile companies in the Rittenhouse Rankings 2012 Candor and Corporate Culture Survey™ outperformed the S&P 500 Index of 17.9 percent, increasing an average of 34.2 percent. The bottom-ranked quartile’s year-over-year average increase was 17.1 percent.”

Although “candor” may seem like a subjective behavior, here it becomes quantifiable and the numbers don’t lie – points are awarded for “informative, relevant disclosure” and deducted for “jargon, confusing statements and clichés.”

RittenhouseRankings has produced a valuable tool – the companies included in the survey have their communications evaluated for candor, and other businesses can see and learn how candor impacts success. Potential employees and customers have an additional source  to make smart decisions about where they want to work or shop (or not).

Number One on the RittenhouseRankings for Candor? Costco.