Heard a great presentation a couple of weeks ago at Plywood Presents from Neil Blumenthal, one of the co-founders and co-CEO's of Warby Parker. If you're not familiar with Warby Parker, get to know them. They are on the cutting edge of innovation, social entrepreneurship, and the new era of corporate responsibility and culture. They sell designer glasses at an affordable price, mainly online. They adopted a "buy a pair, give a pair" model from the beginning of their company. And they allow you to try glasses on at home, no strings attached, by shipping you up to 5 pairs of glasses, and then you choosing which frames work best. But the thing I love most about Warby Parker is their honesty, transparency and authenticity as an organization.
And one of the main points Neil made in his talk was how important Authenticity is in today's corporate environment. Authenticity is not only expected, it is required. Authenticity rules.
Transparency is king.
Customers expect a great product, but in today's corporate environment, they also expect an honest and transparent company. It's not about hiding stats or trying to bury the numbers in an annual report where no one can find them. As an organization, you are better off to let your customers, your tribe, your fans get to know you, including the things you do well and the areas where you are still learning and growing.
Warby Parker has taken a different approach. Putting transparency and authenticity at the top of the most important list.
They even created a "Making of" their annual report that provides substantial information about the company. Check out the video below.