To some managers, knowledge is power and a lot of their power base is built by accumulating and hiding sources of information.
You can get hints of this all the time – you chat to someone and discover they were talking to this manager the other day and told them something important, but the manager never told you. Or better still, just when you least expect it they produce some well hidden gem with a flourish as a winning play in an argument.
Needless to say I think secrecy like this is decisive and reduces trust. I’m not sure some culprits realise just how much of a barrier this represents. It certainly encourages those that fall foul of this to hide their knowledge as well, which can often be disastrous given just how hard it is for information to flow up.
My alternative approach starts from the principle that all managers have a duty to share their knowledge with their team. Not just knowledge, but also the sources of the knowledge and even their analysis of it. This has to be proactive as well, not just reactive. They can’t just respond well when asked, they actually have to put some effort into identifying the knowledge to share and making it happen.
This can only lead to a stronger team, a more open team and a more trusting team.