5. Companies function best when information flows freely, regardless of rank.

A common assumption in business circles is that money is the life force of a company. Obviously money is vital for a business to function, but information is also critical to a company’s flourishing—now more than ever in the age of Internet.

An easy flow of information is essential, and yet some executives run their businesses in a hierarchical fashion, reminiscent of Soviet-era bureaucracy, where information slowly works its way down the chain of command, redacted for underlings who further redact the original message until it ends up at the bottom in a diluted, censored form. Being stingy with information is counterproductive. It hurts employee performance because it disempowers and forces them to act on incomplete information, which only hurts the business in the long run.

It is in the best interests of both employees and employers to share as much information as possible, rather than hiding the majority in the vaults. Executives at Google have shared information widely in order to set a precedent for transparency.

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