Radical Transparency – Humility balanced with Audacity

“Audacity gets you to shoot for big goals and humility gives you the open-mindedness to take in the best thinking available to you to get you to those goals.” ~ Ray Dalio

Chip Conley, using his concept of Emotional Equations, might say :

Radical Transparency = Audacity * Humility

I frame the equation that way as for the “value” of a Radical Transparency “score”, to me, would be powered partly by being audaciously, radically transparent, but the real power comes with humility, by removing ego from the equation.

Ray Dalio is fascinating to me. He leads Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest funds in the world, and he is someone who things differently in many ways. Here is his recent TED talk on Radical Transparency, and he has also published a book called Principles, off the back of the detailed principles he established years ago as a “bible” for the Bridgewater way of doing things.


Now, as with so many different ways of seeing the world, Radical Transparency is controversial. Some question it as being potentially damaging as a form of ultra-meritocracy that can remove the psychological safety (as highlighted by Google, article here ).

To me, I see a clear link between Radical Transparency and Radical Candor, the creation of Kim Scott, which I wrote about in : “A Trust Story – Radical Candor“.


To me, the crux of whether or not cultures such as Netflix and Bridgewater can create sustainable prosperity (a very different term than economic growth, shareholder value etc) is whether or not there is care deeply embedded into the organisation. I will go one further and ask this question. Why don’t we talk about LOVE in business. Imagine what it would look like to work in a business where Love is a core value ?

Love. Humility to balance Audacity, Care to balance Challenge. Empathy. Understanding. Sound soft ? Also consider candor, challenge, clarity, confrontation. All of these can be done with love. Consider the alternatives ? Passivity, toxicity, manipulation etc. None of these are acceptable with love as a core value.

Ah, I muse.


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