Operational Transparency

In his Buzzmachine blog, Jeff Jarvis writes about a Continental Airlines choice of transparency over secrecy after flights were cancelled:

Continental is practicing operational transparency. It opened up information is already has to us, the customers, so we can be informed and empowered. This way, I’m not cursing the airline and its employees. I’m well aware that our flight might be canceled and that’s entirely out of Continental’s control, so I wouldn’t blame them. But every time this has happened in the past, I hated being in the dark; I hated being lied to by airlines; I simply want more information. And now an airline is giving it to me. Bravo for Continental.

Operational transparency is only possible when someone has sat down and calculated the benefit of the true information vs. the costs of its absence. Good on Continental in this case, and we should all look to say more when there is no serious competitive disadvantage to secrecy- hiding behind “approved messaging” will just keep your customers from taking your side.