Jan
26

 

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW), global leaders in organizational trust honors its 2015 Top Thought Leaders in Trust. The awards program, now in its 5th year, celebrates professionals who are transforming the way organizations do business. This year’s honorees include Patricia Aburdene, Dan Ariely, Ken Blanchard, Doug Conant, Tim Cook, Stephen M.R. Covey, Richard Edelman, Bill George, Seth Godin, Adam Grant, Marillyn Hewson, Rich Karlgaard, Brad Katsuyama, Jim Kouzes, Bill McDermott, Robert A. McDonald, Indra Nooyi, Joel Peterson, Howard Schultz and many others.

While there are a growing number of global “top” lists and awards, no others address trust, perhaps because the word itself presents a definitional challenge. For six+ years TAA-TAW has been working with a team of experts to study, define and quantify organizational trust and trustworthiness.

According to Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director, “The release of this year’s list coincides with the completion of our “official” Campaign for Trust™, an initial two-year collaborative program to build organizational trust tools, now being extended into 2015.As our understanding of trust deepens, so does our pool of exceptional award candidates. Many of this year’s honorees are well-known CEOs, authors and leadership advisors, while others are quietly working behind the scenes as teachers and researchers. We acknowledge and reward all their efforts in elevating societal trust.

This year TAA-TAW is presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to fifteen colleagues who have maintained Top Thought Leader status consecutively for five years, and their names are being permanently memorialized. We congratulate all of our honorees whose work is shining a spotlight on the importance of trust and providing a roadmap for others to follow. They inspire organizations to look more closely at their higher purpose…to create greater value for, and trust from all of their stakeholders, and understand trust to be a “hard currency” that can leverage real business gains.”

The 2015 Lifetime Honorees can be accessed at this link, while complete details including our methodology, judges, award winners, articles and additional trust resources can be found in the winter issue of TRUST! Magazine, sent free of charge upon registration.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World™www.trustacrossamerica.com is a program of Next Decade, Inc., an award-winning communications firm that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over 20 years. TAA-TAW helps organizations build trust through its abundance of resources. It also provides a framework for organizations to improve trustworthy practices, and showcases individuals and organizations exhibiting high levels of trust and integrity. Contact: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com for more info.

Jan
25

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Is loneliness at the top a trust buster? You bet. But don’t believe me, just read this Wall Street Journal article and pay particular attention to #3.

We must not forget that our organization’s leaders are humans first and executives second. How can we expect leaders to be trustworthy when rising in the ranks impedes the growth of trust?

I’ve spoken to CEOs who joke about how lonely it is at the top, but I never stopped to think about why. Imagine getting to where you are only to find that you are forced to trust fewer people as more try to take advantage of your position?

If building organizational trust rests squarely on the shoulders of leadership, this Catch 22 must be overcome. Leaders can start by availing themselves of the myriad of resources (many free) to avoid the “loneliness trap” by building organizational trust in incremental steps.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World has spent six years sourcing trust tools and bringing them together on our website- books, magazines, videos, reports, speakers, and even a master research bibliography. If you are the leader of an organization and feeling the “loneliness at the top” and diminishing trust, please stop by. If you can’t find what you are looking for, drop us a note at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com . We’ll be glad to help (no strings attached.)

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 2015 Poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
23

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

The World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos is in full swing, and as Sebastian Buckup, the Director of the Program’s Development Team reports, the world has lost trust in:

Progress

Markets

Government

Few would disagree, but on closer read, one will not find the word “leadership” mentioned until the discussion on government. I will continue to contend that the world has not lost trust in progress, markets or government, for that matter. The world has lost trust in the leaders who are impeding progress and innovation, fostering inefficiency in markets and placing their governmental “power” before the best interests of the people who elected them.

The world is not facing a crisis of trust, but rather one of untrustworthy leadership. Until the focus shifts from inanimate objects like progress, markets and government to the human beings behind these institutional walls, the global trust crisis will continue unabated.

On Monday, and for the fifth year, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World will be announcing its Top Thought Leaders in Trust, a group of approximately one hundred professionals who collectively hold the key to reversing the cycle of mistrust in all organizations, via the “human” approach.  And while a few are even in attendance this year at Davos, no one individual can change the course of this negative trust trajectory.

Imagine if this Top Thought Leader group convened in Davos (or maybe even somewhere warmer) with the sole intent of tackling the real crisis and building the tools leaders need to put trust back in their organizations. That’s the meeting I want to attend. How about you? How can we make that happen?

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 2015 Poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
20

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

According to newly released data from the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer the world has witnessed “an alarming evaporation of trust across all institutions, reaching the lows of the Great Recession in 2009. Trust in government, business, media and NGOs in the general population is below 50 percent in two-thirds of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Informed public respondents are nearly as distrustful, registering trust levels below 50 percent in half of the countries surveyed.”

“There has been a startling decrease in trust across all institutions driven by the unpredictable and unimaginable events of 2014,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman

Many global experts claim that “trust” is the issue of the decade and they may be right. Our society continues to be plagued by breaches of trust in business, government, academia, medicine, sports and the media, to name just a few.  But behind every trust violation is an individual or a team that has allowed it to occur. There is no doubt that low trust comes with hard costs to society and its citizens.

 

 

Is There a Silver Lining? Yes indeed. Many thought leaders are placing trust on their daily docket and teaching others through their actions and words.  On January 26 via TRUST! Magazine winter issue, Trust Across America – Trust Around the World will be releasing its 5th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust, recognizing approximately 100 global trust researchers, consultants, writers and/or business leaders. Today we announce 15 honorees that have been continuously recognized by our program for their thought leadership over the past five years, and are receiving our Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Please join us in congratulating the following outstanding individuals:

Patricia Aburdene

Hank Boerner

Stephen M.R. Covey

Jed Emerson

Leslie Gaines Ross

Robert Galford

Mary Gentile

Bill George

Charles H. Green

Jim Kouzes

Linda Locke

Edward Marshall

Jeffrey Seglin

Frank Sonnenberg

Robert Whipple

Well done ladies and gentlemen!

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 2015 Poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
16

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

 

There’s a new game in corporate America, it’s called the “word” game, and it’s simply a smoke screen masking a larger and holistic issue of low trust as illustrated in the following quote:   Words sometimes serve as a smoke screen to obscure the truth, rather than as a searchlight to reveal it. (author unknown) One need only spend a few minutes scrolling through LinkedIn to witness this “new era” word game being played. These are among my favorites:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Engagement
  3. Culture
  4. Autonomy
  5. Centricity
  6. Disruption
  7. Talent
  8. Empowerment
  9. Wellness
  10. Emotional Intelligence

According to those who play this game best, these words represent the path to organizational salvation and success. There’s only one problem. They are wrong and they don’t. Trustworthy organizations cannot exist without a trustworthy leader, and they can’t be built “around” the leader. Instead, he or she must willingly accept the hammer, hit the nails and make sure they are straight. The hammer can’t be delegated to HR or middle management.

Trustworthy leadership “lingo” hasn’t changed. It’s always been and will always be about character, competence and consistency with some generosity thrown in for good measure. Or as we like to say, trustworthy leaders are VIPs: Values, Integrity & Promises kept.

If implemented, some of the “word game” strategies above may provide a temporary bandage for a festering wound, but sooner or later the infection will return.  Organizations run by trustworthy leaders don’t need new age lingo, they just need integrity. Sometimes “old” and proven works best.

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 2015 Poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

Jan
12

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

Has CEO compensation destroyed trust in corporate America?

Will the real root cause of the destruction of trust please stand up. While many blame Wall Street and the financial meltdown in 2008, trust began to gasp for air many years earlier. The financial meltdown just added a nail to the coffin.

Trust had a quick descent  in the 1990′s with the explosion of stock option grants and an increased focus on shareholder value. In fact, By 2000, stock options accounted for more than half of total compensation for a typical S&P 500 CEO.

Over the 14-year 1992-2005 time period, the average US S&P 500 company awarded over €1 billion worth of
options to its executives and employees (or €500 billion across all 500 companies). Moreover, the average S&P 500 company transferred through options approximately 25.6% of its total outstanding equity to its executives and employees (Murphy, Jensen and Wruck (2011).

And lest we forget the accounting scandals like Enron, Sarbanes Oxley, pay for performance, options backdating and Dodd Frank, perhaps sealing the fate of trust for good. Unfortunately, regulation is punitive and does little if anything to create value or trust. For those interested in read more about the global history of CEO compensation and it’s impact on trust, this is an excellent paper.

A more recent July NY Times article written by Eduardo Porter called Motivating Corporations to Do Good contains the following:

In 1993, some 20 percent of executive compensation was based on stock, according to Lynn Stout of Cornell Law School. Today, equity accounts for about 60 percent of the remuneration of executives at companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. With so much money tied up in stock options and the like, it is not surprising that executives will do almost anything to give their share price a boost regardless of what costs this might incur after their options have vested. (and regardless of how much trust must be compromised along the way)

And finally, as described in this September article in The Week, written by James Pethokoukis, most US companies and their CEO’s are stuck in the short-term and quarterly earnings mentality, again both killers of trust.

The Silver Lining

In a recent blog post called The Good News About Leadership  Bob Vanourek describes more enlightened versions of capitalism that are emerging and go beyond the “maximize shareholder value” mantra that is becoming increasingly obsolete and discredited. He references this article in McKinsey Insights called Redefining Capitalism.

Have We Yet to See Any Examples Of CEOS Embracing a New Way of Thinking about Trust?

Yes indeed! I wrote about the Top Ten CEO Trust Stories of 2014 in this recent post. It includes examples from enlightened CEOs like Howard Schultz at Starbucks and Capital One’s Richard Fairbank.

Perhaps there is still a ray of hope for trust to make a comeback in corporate America, but it won’t be through increased regulation and mandatory rules. After all, trust is voluntary.  Let’s see what happens in 2015.

Our library of our own award-winning books and many others on building organizational trust can be accessed here and provide a good starting place for learning more about the subject, especially if you are an enlightened CEO, or want to be one.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                              

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 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
06

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

There is no doubt that trust is broken in most organizations. If you doubt the validity of this statement, here’s a quick test.

  1. Do you look forward to getting up and going to work in the morning? Now ask the person sitting next to you the same question.
  2. What was the level of employee turnover in your organization in 2014?
  3. Do you like your boss, or does he like himself more? When was the last time he/she spoke TO you instead of AT you?
  4. Has trust as a “business imperative” ever been discussed at a staff meeting?
  5. Can you list the three most important values in your organization?

Get the picture? The good news…. if leadership hasn’t woken up to the value of trust, appoint yourself as the Chief Trust Officer today, start instilling some trust in your organization, and chances are, you will like your job more by the end of 2015. Your colleagues will thank you and maybe your boss will wake up too! It’s a win/win for all.

Late last year we published the 3rd book in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. It’s called TRUST Inc. 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations to Build Workplace Trust . We also published a year-end companion poster with 52 ways to increase organizational trust, as recommended by some of the world’s leading experts, and members of our Trust Alliance.

The first activity can be completed in less than one hour. It’s called “Listening for Leaders” and was written by Charles H. Green, one of the world’s foremost authorities on trust-based relationships.

This is a brief introduction to the activity:

Objective: Concretely demonstrate to leaders a way of interacting with others that increases influence through empathetic listening.

Requirements: 3 persons, each with a particular “difficult client/colleague” situation.

30 – 40 minutes elapsed time.

Can be done in multiples of three persons, with a strong facilitator

Process overview: The exercise is done in three iterations. Each of the three gets a chance to role-play:

Person A. a difficult client of their own

Person B. an advisor or follower of the difficult client/colleague

Person C. an observer

Each iteration proceeds as:

a. 60 seconds for the “client/colleague” person to describe the situation – out of role character

b. 4 minutes for the role-play – in character

c. 3 minutes debrief, led by the observer

This activity also includes Notes to Facilitators, Debrief Instructions & a Wrap Up.

Interesting idea?  It’s the first of 52. Get the book, print the poster and hang it on your wall. Start your new career as the Chief Trust Officer in your organization today. There’s no reason to wait for the boss to do it. I dare you!

If you need help along the way, visit our website for free resources on building organizational trust. We can even recommend a local expert to visit and share their expertise.

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 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

Jan
04

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

For those of you who did not grow up with access to a beach, or “shore,” the term “Boardwalk hawker” may be unfamiliar. The hawker is simply the person who stands outside the establishment yelling for passers-by to come in and watch the freak show or spend a few dollars on a game of chance.  Similar to “carnies” most of these folks would not be the ones you would trust to babysit your kids, and probably not your dogs either.

The rise of “social media” has brought with it a new generation of hawkers. While in the past, trustworthy business relationships were built over time and in incremental steps, those days seem long gone.  Now anyone can hang a sign, claiming expertise in just about anything, and shout it from the rooftops across all social media, hoping that someone will pay attention.

Hawkers are pretty easy to spot. These are a few clues:

  1. They use the words, “me,”, “my,” and “I” way more frequently than “we.”
  2. The phrase “Check this out”,  “I just wrote this” or “My latest” is a common one.
  3. Their LinkedIn profile and/or a website has several “holes” in education or experience that don’t quite make sense.
  4. They lack testimonials or references, or use only initials in place of real names.
  5. Their “social” mindset appears fixed on short-term money making opportunities, not long-term relationships, and so they are usually “too busy” for a call or a meeting.

Trust is built in incremental steps and over time. Business is won and done through real relationships, face-to-face meetings and phone calls,  not through superficial social networks and emails. And trustworthy experts not only “talk” their expertise, they walk it too. In fact, many of them can’t even be found on LinkedIn or through a Twitter search.

Shouting the loudest does not make one an expert, let alone trustworthy. Yes, we can hear you, but “No” we don’t trust you. There are no shortcuts to trust. Trust is a combination of character, competence, consistency and generosity, something rarely found in hawkers or carnies… and it takes time.

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 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

Dec
30

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Did you know that Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the formation of its Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts? This global group includes corporate executives, consultants and academics from a variety of silos- leadership, innovation, compliance, teams & HR, entrepreneurship, etc. The common thread is a shared interest in elevating levels of trust within organizations.

Our members are prolific writers. Some of them have shared their “best” 2014 suggestions on building organizational trust. If you are doing more than just “talking trust” and actually “walking it,” don’t miss this!

Articles & Blog Posts

Nan Russell offers 5 Tips to Fix Your Broken Communications and Build Trust

Deb Mills-Scofield asks Are You Just a Leader or a Just Leader?

Mark Fernandes shares his thoughts on what it is like Inside the Walls of a Values-Based Leadership Organization

Taina Savolainen on Trust & Innovation Interplay

Barbara Brooks Kimmel’s Most Popular Article of the Year asks the question, What Quote Does Trust the Most Disservice?

Bob Vanourek explores how to Learn to Trust Your Own Judgement

Charles H. Green offers advice on What to Do When Others Abuse Your Trust

Donna Boehme weighs in on GM’s DIY Compliance

Linda Fisher Thornton reminds us that in Building Trust We Must Know What to Weed Out

Lea Brovedani reviews what happens in  Messing Up and Keeping Trust

Books

In 2014:

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World added two new books to it’s award-winning TRUST Inc. book series:

TRUST Inc., a Guide for Boards & C-Suites

TRUST Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities & Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust

Carol Sanford’s The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders and Impact Investors, is the WINNER of the Best Entrepreneurship Book of 2014 via 800CEOREAD.

Karin Hurt’s Overcoming an Imperfect Boss discusses ways to elevate trust at work.

Bob Whipple wrote Trust in Transition, Navigating Organizational Change

Magazines

Did you know that we released the first issue of our quarterly magazine TRUST! in the fall of 2014? Our next issue will be out at the end of January,

Posters

Finally, we have created a poster for 2015 called Weekly Activities to Increase Organizational Trust. For a small donation, you can download this poster and help build trust in your organization in the coming year.

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
28

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

We all know that startup businesses have high failure rates. Just how high is open to debate but this graphic, showing them by industry, is worth a look. Trust holds the key to long-term business success and profitability, yet it remains the most frequently ignored business strategy. Without trust as a foundational element, the chances for long-term business survival are little to none.

Yesterday someone asked me to enumerate, from a “trust” perspective, ten sure-fire business failure warning signs. I’ll bet several are present in your organization.

 

  1. Trust is taken for granted or viewed as a soft skill. There is no Chief Trust Officer (not to be confused with ethics or compliance. Trust is voluntary while compliance is regulated.)
  2. Your corporate credo or core values are nonexistent, or the ones in place are simply “words” tossed up on a website.
  3. Goals have yet to be defined, shared or agreed upon. Nor has a course been plotted with a one, three and five-year plan.
  4. Leadership is focused on survival and short-term profitability only, instead of a unique corporate value proposition and the customer.
  5. The “leader” lacks leadership skills. Worse yet, he is a total jerk and everyone knows it but him.
  6. There is not a single woman in sight on the executive leadership team.
  7. Everyone is a boss and no one is held accountable, resulting in a lack of consistency and a great deal of finger-pointing.
  8. Board members are “Yes men” for the CEO, and “yes” they are all men.
  9. There is lots of talk and little action, and everyone is always “very tired” from all the “hard” work.
  10. A well-defined hiring strategy has not been implemented resulting in misalignment and inefficient staffing.

How many of these are present in your startup? Each one is an indicator that your business will fail.

We have published a brand-new 2015 poster listing 52 weekly actions you can take to build trust and secure and ensure long-term business success, drawing on expert advice from around the world. A donation of $10.00 (minimum $5.00) might hold the key to your long-term business success. Make the investment for the good of your organization and all your stakeholders. See you in 18 months!

Want to learn more about building organizational trust? Our award-winning 3-book TRUST Inc. series that can be ordered here,

 

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.