Dec
19

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Trust Across America- Trust Around the World’s

Year-End Letter (and what a year it’s been)

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World has completed the “I” phase of its development by asking and answering the following question: “How can I build a program and web presence that will become the global leader in organizational trust?”

We will close the year with almost 400,000 website visitors accessing close to 1.5 million pages of material, confirming that organizational trust is on the minds of many people worldwide, and so the “I” goal above has been met. We expect to continue this positive trend going forward.

The “You” phase began in late 2013, asking and answering the question “What cost-effective or free resources do you, our audience, need that will help you build trust?

To meet this objective we completed the following twelve projects in 2014:

  • Expanded our free You Tube Trust Talks video series which have been watched by thousands of people.
  • Launched our free living Trust Bibliography with the help of Bob Easton at Accenture. It’s the largest of its kind in the world and is updated every 6 months. Update coming soon.
  • Hosted a series of regional Trust Circle breakfasts and luncheons, engaging in lively discussions and making new friends and business relationships.
  • Spoke at colleges and conferences.
  • Created a trustworthy leadership survey called the Leader’s Project and began to aggregate data and great stories.
  • Brought awareness to the topic of organizational trust with our first global TRUSTGiving Campaign in November, right before Thanksgiving.
  • Organized our Alliance members into a Trust Speakers group to meet national and global demand.

And now we are entering the “We” phase.

During 2014, our Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts continued to grow, and with each new member came a new trust perspective and more engagement. We collectively began to ask “How can we, as a growing Alliance, collaborate to meet the needs of our global audience?” This will be our focus in 2015 as we move into year #3 of the Alliance formation.

On January 1, 2015, our Alliance will be temporarily closing to new members, and we will maintain a waiting list. Some existing members will be invited back when their membership expires, while others will not. This will be based on shared interest and objectives as we move forward, and on specific areas of organizational trust expertise which may be lacking in our existing group.

If you are considering joining, please do so before the end of the year. All new members are vetted.

I wish each of you the best in 2015 for health, happiness, and more trust. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know us and choose to show your ongoing support for our very important work.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Dec
15

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Did you read Seth Godin’s blog post today? It’s called The Annual Plan Construction Set. It reminds me of the “artist” who chooses the “paint by numbers” option over a blank canvas. Companies opt for “safe” over “trust” more often than not.  “Safe” should not be confused with safety.  Safe is more like paint by numbers, quick and easy. Trust is the blank canvas, slower and more difficult. At the end of the day, “what the artist puts in is what he gets out” and trust trumps safe.

Some surefire clues that, like most, your company has chosen “safe.”

  1. The CEO makes an annual appearance at the holiday party only, because he/she spends most of the time putting out fires.
  2. The company credo is merely something written on a wall, but never discussed.
  3. The compliance/legal department is the largest, and EVERYTHING must be cleared.
  4. Innovation is nonexistent.
  5. Employee turnover is high and engagement is low.
  6. Decision-making is very slow.

Trust starts at the top. It’s risky because it takes time and is built in incremental steps. Sometimes a temporary dip in profitability occurs. But companies that build trust into their DNA are often those whose annual report does NOT scream “safe.” The pages are filled with candor because the CEO has the secret sauce that trumps competitors. The choice has been made to invest in trust, and it has paid off.

As Seth Godin says, “vague is safe, and no one ever got in trouble for failing to meet a vague plan.” What’s your leader’s plan? Trust or safe?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Have you seen our brand new book? It’s the third in an award-winning series.

914Trust front Cover

 

ORDER NOW

 

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Dec
13

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Organizational Trust this Week is a new feature beginning with the “Good”, moving through the “Debatable” and occasionally ending with the “Ugly.” Each story contains a trust component and at least one lesson for organizations seeking to make trust a business imperative. Trust news this week was “light” so we decided to reproduce a three article series published earlier about trust and CEOs, and reverse the order, beginning with the “Ugly.”

 

THE UGLY

CEOs Suck at Trust

 

THE DEBATABLE

Trust, Governance & Howard Schultz

 

THE GOOD

Build Trust Into Your Portfolio

 

By the way, did you know we released a new book last week in our award-winning TRUST Inc. book series?

 

914Trust front Cover

ORDER NOW

GIVE A GIFT OF TRUST THIS HOLIDAY!

 

We are taking a break and will be back after the holidays with more Organizational Trust this Week. Our best wishes for a festive end to 2014.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

Dec
11

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Sometimes my friend “Karma” plays the most interesting tricks on me, as she has done this week with this classic corporate “trust tug of war.”

On Monday I wrote a blog post called CEOs “Suck” at Trust.

Soon after, my friend Corey Dubrowa at Starbucks reminded me that not all CEOs are created equal, and shared this recent video of Howard Schultz describing the future of corporations and their trust imperative.

I remain a big supporter of Howard because of his focus on trust. His name has been included among our Top Thought Leaders for several years, and I wrote about him back in 2011 in a CNBC blog called “We Need More People Like Howard Schultz

And then this morning, Karma came knockin’ with an article in my inbox called Corporate Governance Issues for 2015 written by another acquaintance Holly Gregory. It begins with this sentence: “Governance of public corporations continues to move in a more shareholder-centric direction.” Holly describes the push, pull and pressures companies face in meeting the short-term demands of shareholders and long-term value creation.  At the end of Holly’s article she touches on the role of the corporation in rebuilding trust, from a somewhat philosophical perspective.

So which one will it be in 2015? Do we slog through another year of misdirected Boards and CEOs focusing on the short-term needs of shareholders, or will more follow the example being set by Howard Schultz?

I’m hanging my hat with Howard. As has been proven, again and again, the best companies are those with a long-term stakeholder value perspective. They are not sacrificing profitability for trust, in fact, quite the opposite. The business case for trust has been made. Enlightened companies have Boards and CEOs who get that. The rest allow themselves to remain caught in that ever present net of short-termism.

I want to do my part to help reverse this seemingly never-ending cycle of mistrust in business. I will repeat the offer I made on Monday. For the remainder of the month of December, any public company CEO or Board Member who emails me at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com with their name, title and US company address will be sent our complete three-book award-winning TRUST Inc. series at no cost, with no strings.

PS- I am a proud long-term Starbucks shareholder! Keep up the good work Howard.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

 

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Dec
09

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Forgive me for being so brash, but the facts are the facts. One of the most enlightening moments of my 5+ year career as the Executive Director of TAA-TAW came recently when a CEO looked me straight in the eye and said “Trust, I like that word.” Quite simply, he had never considered it as a business strategy, let alone an imperative.

So why do CEOs suck at trust? Primarily because Boards of Directors do too. As I’ve said before, the crisis of trust that many describe is really a crisis of leadership. Why does it exist? In public companies, the reasons are simple. The Board and CEO are unwilling to adopt trust as a long-term strategy because it may, in the very short-term, impact:

  • Quarterly earnings
  • Wall Street’s support
  • Shareholder value
  • Their own compensation and tenure

And they are not willing to sacrifice any of these, even for one quarter. Case closed.

There are other reasons why CEOs in both public and private companies, suck at trust. These are just a few of the most important:

  1. They do not possess the core values required of a trustworthy leader- character, competence, consistency and generosity.
  2. They have not taken the time to find out what matters to the people they lead.
  3. They have never considered the benefits of strong corporate values and culture.
  4. They rely too heavily on their legal and compliance team, doing only what is “legal” as opposed to what is “right.”
  5. They believe that crisis repair is less costly than building long-term trust.

As I have said many times before, industry is not destiny nor is any company perfect. But when the Board and the CEO suck at trust, the chances are that all the employees will too.

Over the past 12 months, we have published three award-winning books in a series called TRUST Inc. and a new magazine called TRUST! Some of the world’s leading experts have weighed in on how organizations can not only improve trust with all stakeholders, but we have also proven that trust impacts bottom line profitability.  My guess is only a handful of the Board members and CEOs I describe above have read any of these publications. After all, why bother?

“Short termism” is a trust killer, that’s why. Yet it’s the strategy that most Boards and CEOs have adopted and choose to embrace. Too bad for them. It’s why they suck at trust.

I want to do my part to help reverse this seemingly never-ending cycle of mistrust in business. For the remainder of the month of December, any public company CEO or Board Member who emails me at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com with their name, title and US company address will be sent our complete three-book series at no cost, with no strings. Let’s see how many take advantage of this offer. What’s your guestimate?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

Dec
07

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At TAA-TAW, we are showing our generosity through our “Tell Us About Trust” Campaign. (don’t miss the gift details below)

The holiday season is upon us and as I watch the flurry of gift-buying and party atmosphere activity around me, I began thinking about the correlation between trust and generosity. My hunch was that a strong link existed, even though generosity is rarely discussed as a “key” pillar of trust, so I began doing some research and the results make the case for a very strong link.

First I came across a fascinating video featuring Mario Alonso Puig, a Spanish surgeon who talks about the relationship of trust, generosity and well-being, and the role of the prefrontal cortex. Take the time to watch this video as it will open up a whole new dimension of trust that you have not yet considered.

This academic study also makes the case for a strong link between trust and generosity.

This article postulates that there is a straight-line link between generosity and trust. Act in someone else’s best interest, without regard for your personal situation, and they will trust you for life.

And if you are not yet convinced, this article from the Global Oneness Project wraps the subject of trust, generosity, radical good and the gift economy into a very neat bow.

So while I have maintained, in past articles, that character, competency and consistency are the three legs of the trust stool, I am now adding generosity as the fourth.

And isn’t this the perfect time of year to begin to show some extra generosity in return for trust?

At TAA-TAW, we are hosting a generosity program called “Tell Us About Trust Campaign.”  Between now and noon on Monday December 8, we are giving away a free copy of our new book from our award-winning series. It’s called Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust.  We will send this gift to anyone who emails us at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com with:

1. A story about trust-building or trust repair in the workplace.

2. The name of a leader who places trust at the top of his/her agenda and how they do it.

3. A way that Trust Across America-Trust Around the World can help you. What resources are missing on our website and what would you most like to see added?

Please include your name, address and phone (Amazon requires it) and your gift will be sent this week. US orders only! It’s our way of saying “thank you” to our growing community.

914Trust front Cover

 

In the word’s of Warren Buffett, Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

 

 

Dec
06

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Organizational Trust this Week is a new feature beginning with the “Good”, moving through the “Debatable” and occasionally ending with the “Ugly.” Each story contains a trust component and at least one lesson for organizations seeking to make trust a business imperative. This week’s news moves our focus away from business and in to trust in communities, government, the media and medicine.

 

THE GOOD

Building trust is not all that complicated regardless of whether the relationship is personal or professional. It all boils down to something that looks like character, competence and consistency with a bit of compassion on top.

This cop knows his trust “stuff” and should share it with our President. It would save the taxpayers a bundle!

Same goes for this civil rights attorney

By the way, did you know we released a new book this week in our award-winning TRUST Inc. book series?

 

914Trust front Cover

 ORDER NOW

GIVE A GIFT OF TRUST THIS HOLIDAY

 

THE DEBATABLE

What is the media’s responsibility in building and busting trust (not only in itself, but its stakeholders?) After all, if the media is not reporting the facts, why not just watch reality TV and read comic books?

Can you trust those virtual doctor visits? This is new and exciting territory. Maybe someone should also invent virtual health insurance. I’ll bet the premiums would be a heck of a lot lower!

 

THE UGLY

Is high CEO pay an impediment to building trust?

What’s happened to trust in government since President Eisenhower? I love graphs. This one really does its job!

 

OUR MOST POPULAR POST THIS WEEK

And finally, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s most popular post on LinkedIn Pulse this week. If trust is low in your workplace, fix it!  Send us your stories for consideration in future editions of Organizational Trust this Week: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Our brand new magazine TRUST! makes the case that in Financial Services, Industry is NOT Destiny

Fall 14 Trust Magazine-Cover

 

   Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

Dec
05

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For many of us, it’s the time of year when we wish for warm weather and the sound of crashing waves. Take a walk on the beach with Rob Galford as he maps out one of the trust-building activities contained in our new book, Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust.

Rob is a Managing Partner of the Center for Leading Organizations, and a Leadership Fellow in Executive Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

A “Walk on the Beach” for Trust 

Not all of our business relationships are perfect.  In fact, too many of them are far from it.  Yet merely recognizing that reality doesn’t do anything for us, doesn’t make things better.  The quo remains status, conflicts are buried, “work-arounds” are devised, and while an easy (or uneasy) peace may reign, the underlying problem remains unresolved.  It doesn’t go away.  It becomes an opportunity missed.  And it doesn’t have to be that way.

The purpose of this assignment and subsequent action is to provide you with an opportunity to focus on improving one or more of your important working relationships in a way that has not occurred before. The first part of the process entails completing six key questions in advance.  You will then spend some uninterrupted time with your counterpart in a setting away from the workplace, a so-called “walk on the beach”, where you will describe and discuss your respective responses to the key questions.   While at the outset there may naturally be a sense of apprehension, risk or discomfort in addressing things so directly, it will be apparent upon completion just how much has been accomplished merely by having had the conversation.

There are four prerequisites for a successful experience and a worthwhile outcome.

  1. A belief that a relationship has the possibility of improvement.  If you firmly, deeply, truly believe there really is zero chance of improving a particular relationship that, in effect, you are “done with it”, then don’t spend the time doing this.  The very fact that the other person might hold out some hope for the relationship, or is willing to do this walk may help you reconsider your view.  If it does not, be ready to discuss with them why you are unwilling to try.

Learn more about all four prerequisites and how to complete your walk on the beach by following the link below.  The book contains 51 other activities and inspirations (a full year) that are certain to not only reverse the cycle of mistrust in your workplace, but enable trust to flourish.

 

 

914Trust front Cover

ORDER NOW

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International. Leave a comment or send her a note at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

Dec
04

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How many times a week do you wake up dreading the workday ahead?

You are hardly alone. The vast majority of employees are disengaged from their jobs, their coworkers and their bosses. In fact, rarely a day passes without a call, a note, or a media headline regarding the fallout of low workplace trust. It destroys:

  • Employee engagement & retention
  • Innovation
  • Productivity
  • Speed of decisions
  • Profitability

Most problems, even this one, are not too big to fix and collaboration is a powerful tool. In our brand new book, Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust, our Alliance members and colleagues joined forces to compile 52 weeks (a full year) of activities and inspirations that are certain to not only reverse the cycle of mistrust in your workplace, but enable trust to flourish. What a great way to improve your life and that of your co-workers!

Whether it is leadership, teamwork, culture, crisis or inter-organizational trust,  the activities and inspirations in our new book are designed to help you. There are activities to enhance trust through:

  • Listening
  • Vulnerability
  • Self-awareness
  • Alignment
  • Experimentation
  • Shared motivation
  • Identification of destructive behaviors
  • Self accountability
  • Role playing
  • Transparency

and many others.

Why not give the gift of trust to your co-workers and friends this holiday season? Perhaps by this time next year, we can be discussing how much trust has improved in our respective workplaces.

914Trust front Cover

ORDER NOW

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International. Leave a comment or send her a note at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

Dec
02

 

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If trust is, as many claim, the “issue of the decade,” why don’t organizations give the topic more attention? After all, the business case for trust has been proven time and again. Perhaps it boils down to the simple question of who takes ownership?

In most companies, trust is taken for granted until there is an “issue” and then trust is passed around like a hot potato.

  • If there is a crisis, the communications and legal team are there to talk about restoring trust.
  • If it’s a matter of “ethics,” just ask the Chief Compliance Officer.
  • Market share declining? Get the marketing department to put the “trust” message in its campaign.
  • Got an employee retention problem? Head to HR. After all, they must not have hired “right.”
  • Giving a speech about building trust in the community? The corporate responsibility and sustainability silo are right on it!

Get the picture? Should I go on?

Unfortunately, in most organizations, no single person takes ownership and that’s why trust IS the issue of the decade. It’s that simple. Imagine running an organization without a Chief Financial Officer. How would the job get done?

So who should own trust?

Very simply, the CEO. Trust starts at the top with leadership acknowledgement of its critical importance. Once that occurs, the CEO can delegate the job to a Chief Trust Officer, whose office must be within shouting distance of the CEO. Imagine the first organization bold enough to hire a Chief Trust Officer? Did I just say “bold?” I meant smart and proactive.

What would the job entail?

  • Review the credo, vision and values and adjust accordingly, with buy-in from every C-Suite member (and the Board.)
  • Communicate vision and values to all stakeholders and make sure everyone abides by them.
  • Work closely with HR to ensure that hiring (and firing) is done according to the standards set forth above.
  • Get trust on the daily docket.  This is an example of how one company does that, and a bit more about driving culture.
  • Enforce a “zero” tolerance policy for trust breaches.

What would the job requirements be?

Very simply character, courage, competence and consistency or put another way, values, integrity and promises kept. Not so different than the qualities of a great CEO! If the applicant happened to be a former cheerleader, that wouldn’t hurt either.

Who will be the first to step outside the “old school” box and hire a Chief Trust Officer? Who will be the first to dip their proverbial feet in the trust water?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International. Leave a comment or send her a note at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.