Why your 'open door policy' may not be working

A CEO, president or secretary-general with an open door — or no door at all — has become a popular strategy within global development institutions wanting to shake the grips of bureaucracy and better communicate with staff around the world. Photo by: Amtec / CC BY-SA

BANGKOK — When Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus assumed the top leadership role at the World Health Organization last year, he immediately instituted an “open hour” every Thursday, inviting staff of any level to sign up for a 15-minute face-to-face meeting.  

In early 2017, after taking on the role of Catholic Relief Services chief executive officer overseeing 5,400 staff around the world, Sean Callahan relocated his own desk from the usual president’s office to a more modest room next door.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.