May
30

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It’s Week #22 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Today’s trust idea is offered by Linda Fisher Thornton. Linda is a Trust Alliance member and a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader.

 

 

Make trust building a business priority.

According to Thornton, if you want to build an organization that lasts, make it a business priority to invest in trust building.

When leaders trust others and are trustworthy themselves, they bring out the best in their organizations. Some of the many ways that trust building plays a critical role in the success of organizations include:

  • Freeing up people’s energy and attention to focus on the real work of the organization
  • Reducing fears that people will be subjected to negative interpersonal behavior
  • Releasing creative energy that can be used to solve problems, and
  • Improving productivity, job satisfaction, customer retention, and other important aspects of business success.

Trusting and being trustworthy are important elements in ethical leadership because of their powerful positive ripple effects.  The process of intentionally leading in ways that build trust creates a positive setting where great things can happen. In a highly competitive global marketplace, that can result in a thriving workforce and a competitive edge.

Thank you Linda. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

May
23

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It’s Week #21 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Davia Temin is a Trust Alliance member, a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader and a contributor to our Trust Inc. book series. She offers this week’s idea:

Say what you do, do what you say.

Reliability, dependability, integrity — these are the essential building blocks of trust. Sounds simple, yet they are so difficult to achieve day in, day out. 

Under-promising and over-delivery is the ticket, of course.  

Whether we are tempted to over promise because of enthusiasm, a lack of operational expertise, expediency, or duplicity, the results are the same — distrust is created. And once there is distrust, rebuilding trust becomes almost impossible without a significant shaming, and transformation, of the organization. 

So if you seek to build trust, don’t promise what you can’t deliver, either in your ads, your speeches, your press releases or in your town halls. Stick to what you can deliver. The public is so jaded by hyperbole, they will most likely appreciate and respect your honesty. And even if they do not, you will know you have done the right thing… And that counts for a lot. 

Thank you Davia. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

May
16

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It’s Week #20 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Bob Whipple is a Trust Alliance member and a Trust Across America Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. He offers this week’s idea:

The absence of fear is the incubator of trust. The leadership behavior that reduces fear the most is reinforcing candor.

Fear at work is often a very rational emotion based on experience and the observed behaviors of the managers. That kind of toxic environment eliminates the possibility of growing real trust. Faced with enduring hypocrisy many will flee to greener pastures. But those employees who continually seek a better environment may find themselves moving to a different job only to find the conditions there are even worse than what they left.

I believe trust can kindle spontaneously in an environment where fear is low.

If your organization runs on a steady diet of fear because people are afraid of the consequences of speaking their truth, you are likely to have a toxic, low trust culture. That is a signal that there is an amazing level of productivity increase available if the leaders can change their behaviors to reduce the fear. Using candor may just be the fastest means to that end. I recall # 8 of Deming’s famous 14 points was “drive out fear.” I believe the famous quality guru was right. 

Thank you Bob. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

May
09

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It’s Week #19 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Ben Boyd is the President of Global Practices & Sectors and C.E.O. Canada & Latin America at Edelman (he is also a Trust Alliance member) and offers this week’s suggestion:

“Trust must have an active steward within the enterprise who is respected and empowered to challenge assumptions and timelines.”

The value of Trust is clear, with 68% of people saying they chose to buy from trusted companies and 59% willing to recommend companies they trust to friends and colleagues (2016 Edelman Trust Barometer). Building and maintaining trust, however, is becoming increasingly complicated as stakeholder expectations increase and all aspects of company behavior and societal impact are scrutinized and discussed. Edelman sees five fundamental trust-building attributes that must be managed in order to meet those expectations.  These attributes span a broad array of functions within an enterprise; they are: engagement, integrity, purpose, products and operations.

Operationalizing a trust-building effort across these attributes requires an active steward championing the cause and in many trusted organizations, the Chief Communications Officer plays that role.  Convening and collaborating with the executive leadership team to ensure trust is central in every business decision, the CCO supports organizational integrity.  Of course, actively managing the attributes to protect and build trust is everyone’s responsibility with ultimate accountability landing with the CEO. 

Thank you Ben. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

May
06

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When a baby decides it is time to be born…”the show must go on.”

Such was the case on January 23, 2016 when approximately 103 million people were affected by a blizzard that hit the east coast of the US, requiring eleven states to declare emergencies, including New Jersey.

Assisted by local EMTs, the healthy baby was delivered at home on the living room couch, the second child of a couple with a fully paid health insurance policy. But the extreme weather conditions and treacherous roads required both the healthy mother and her new baby to be transported to the closest hospital, not one designated by the family’s insurance plan, and certainly not through any special requests on the family’s part. In less than 24 hours, both mother and child were released from the “unaffiliated” hospital, returning home to celebrate their new arrival.

But the biggest surprise for this family was yet to arrive.

The following week a hospital bill was delivered for $53,000. And in case you are not totally shocked by that number, it didn’t include subsequent invoices from the EMTs, emergency room doctors, nor the $39.00 adult diaper that was “sold” to the mother following delivery, to name just a few “incidentals” that brought the total “hit” to over $60,000.

Now this family, who should be bonding and celebrating the birth of their healthy second child, is instead:

1) Faced with a daunting bill that no insured young middle class family could ever possibly pay, and mounds of paperwork and invoice totals that change with every postal delivery.

2) Spending countless hours away from their children and professional obligations listening to prerecorded messages claiming “our menus have changed,” “your call is important to us” and “we are experiencing unusually high call volume.”

The following are some not so simple questions for insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, miscellaneous health services providers and any other parties who would like to weigh in on this story:

What responsibility, if any, do organizations have to ensure their customers are treated fairly, ethically and in a trustworthy manner?

Has corporate greed and the “maximization of shareholder value” permanently replaced doing what’s right?

If this child had been born to a family with no health insurance what would their bill be?

How can this family, who believed they had done everything “right” except better timing the birth of their baby, expeditiously resolve this and “get on” with what matters and their daily lives?”

I suppose the moral of the story is “buyer beware:” 

Even under the most extreme circumstances caused by acts of nature, thousands of dollars in monthly health insurance premiums don’t “cut it” once companies are asked to honor their obligations and do the right thing. Why is this so?

Please send any suggestions or advice to barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

May
02

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It’s Week #18 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

David Reiling is the CEO of Sunrise Banks and a multi-year Top Thought Leader in Trust who offers the following suggestion:

“Set intentional promises and expectations on what you will deliver to all stakeholders.” 

When you’re setting goals sometimes those goals are attainable and other times you miss them. To keep yourself always ‘in the game’ it is important to set goals and make yourself accountable. I challenge you to take it one step further and make yourself accountable for delivering results to others (stakeholders). This commitment to others will keep your drive and mindset in the right place. It doesn’t feel good when you break a promise to others. So be strong, be transparent and be intentional with others and let your goals and promises be seen and heard. Doing this will keep you on the track to deliver amazing results.

Thank you David. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

Apr
28

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In Capitalism and Freedom (1962) the late American economist Milton Friedman wrote:

There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.

During the 50+ years following the book’s publication the meaning of Friedman’s quote has been debated in C-Suites around the world, particularly the “rules of the game.” The widely held interpretation is one of a status quo; as long as it’s legal the corporation has fulfilled its role in society. Hence, with Friedman’s legacy in mind, the majority of leaders and their boards tend to focus on regulatory compliance as the “golden rule” and push the “soft stuff” like culture, trust, employee engagement and community off to the side, or perhaps to a functional silo that then creates a “program” or a philanthropic PR campaign.

There is a small and growing cadre of CEOs who are simply no longer accepting Friedman’s theory as gospel.

One of them is Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. This past January, Schultz was the first CEO to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Trust Across America. And just recently in his annual address to shareholders, Howard asked his audience to consider two questions:

  1. What is the role & responsibility of a for profit company?
  2. What is the role and responsibility of all of us as citizens?

We asked members of our Trust Alliance and our Top Thought Leaders to weigh in on Howard’s video and questions, and are sharing a few of the responses.

Nadine Hack: Yes, we live and work at a time when our collective values often are alarmingly devoid of compassion, generosity, concern for others or common civility. But, we’ve always had backward-looking fear-mongers concurrent with forward-looking hope-givers. So, like Schultz, I choose to be optimistic, caring, and a committed participant in expanding awareness of and desire to effect positive change. Every day we do have a choice to advance the relay race towards greater compassion.

Bob Vanourek: For profit companies have done more than any other organization to raise people out of poverty, enhance living standards, lengthen life spans, and lower costs. But many market-based companies have gone seriously off-track. Regulations to set boundaries are necessary, but real reform must come from within.

Organizations at the board and CEO level must set the overarching goal to be excellent, ethical, and enduring. That is their overriding role and responsibility.

The days of the heroic leader riding in to save us all are gone. Yes, we need better CEO’s and government leaders, but the real work belongs to us in our families, neighborhoods, places of worship and work, and where we volunteer our time. There we need to engage in civil dialogue once more. As English writer Mary Wortley Montagu said, Civility costs nothing but buys everything.

Mark Crowley: The truth is humans have survived as a species not through competition or selfishness, but through intentional cooperation and collaboration.  The lesson from this is that nature intends for us to unite. It’s only by caring about each other that we can truly thrive. 

The greatest good businesses can do for society is to honor the human beings they employ. Giving workers respect, appreciation and fair treatment will only strengthen us.

And while valuing employees is an inherently noble thing to do, nature, once again, rewards it. One only needs to look at Starbucks financial success to confirm this.

Linda Fisher Thornton: Ethical leaders know they are responsible for upholding values that build strong companies, strong communities and strong societies– including care and compassion.

People have tried shortcuts that go around respect, civility and tolerance, but there is no acceptable shortcut on the road to profit (or power) that “goes around ethics.”

As the world changes, leaders who stay competent know that respect, human connection and trust matter. Those positive factors keep employees engaged in doing good work and that engagement translates into excellent service to customers, which translates into responsible profits.

And finally, Donna Boehme provides this summary. Many would dwell on the for-profit’s duty to generate profits for its investors, but there is an important element to that – transparency and good behavior in “how” the company does business. For example, if a company were to discover a giant bribery scheme in its operations, that company should seek to maintain the Trust of its constituencies by self-reporting to authorities and cleaning house immediately, and be transparent to its investors and employees about the discovery and subsequent actions.

Every Board and C-Suite has a duty and responsibility to ensure that their respective business is conducted consistent with relevant legal and ethical standards.

Each individual has many roles (as parent, citizen, voter, shareholder, professional, etc.) and spheres of influence where they can uniquely promote and support ethical and trustworthy behavior. To act consistently with the law and in a manner that will promote trust in our communities. That includes being informed and educated about trustworthy behavior and supporting those individuals, organizations, and institutions that promote ethical leadership and trust.

And, naturally, Howard Schultz has a few thoughts of his own about the role and responsibility of a for profit company.

“The heart of this question is a belief that the private sector must begin to hold itself more accountable in ways that include but go beyond fiscal responsibility. More than ever, the fragility of the times we live in requires us to extend ourselves in expected and unexpected ways. Companies such as Starbucks have the financial, intellectual, and human resources to step in and try to create new solutions for a multitude of communities, and since our earliest of days, we have done just that. We have worked to build a different kind of company –  one committed to delivering shareholder value while embracing values and guiding principles that serve our people, our customers, and the neighborhoods where we do business.”

And, it doesn’t stop there.

Howard has also said that we all have a collective responsibility for civility, personal responsibility and collective accountability for our communities and one another. As Howard Schultz framed on stage at its recent Annual Meeting of Shareholders: “Sadly, our reservoir is running dry, depleted by cynicism, despair, division, exclusion, fear and indifference.” He suggested citizens refill the reservoir of the American Dream, “not with cynicism, but with optimism. Not with despair, but with possibility. Not with division, but with unity. Not with exclusion, but with inclusion. Not with fear, but with compassion. Not with indifference, but with love…It’s not about the choice we make every four years. This is about the choices we make every day.”

Starbuck’s mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Howard Schultz continues to live that mission through both his words and actions.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its sixth year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Tuning in to Trust & Ethics is a new monthly column of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s Trust Alliance compiled by Barbara Brooks Kimmel

A shorter version of this article first appeared on the FCPA Blog.

Copyright © 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr
27

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I am happy to share our 2016 Trust Bibliography update curated by Bob Easton, an Accenture partner and long time friend of Trust Across America. Now at 84 pages, it is perhaps the largest living bibliography of its kind, and a tremendous asset to those who acknowledge trust as an intentional business strategy and competitive advantage.

Thank you Bob for your commitment.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Apr
25

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It’s Week #17 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Nadine Hack a member of our Trust Alliance  and 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner offers a simple suggestion:

Be inclusive in your decision making

In our ever-more connected world, growing exponentially more so because of social media, people expect to be engaged rather than dictated to. This always has been true: it’s just more obvious now.

So, be open to the possibility you can learn as much from those you lead as they might learn from you. Involve them as early as possible in analyzing information to make truly informed decisions.

Territorial ego-based leadership is the opposite: keep strategies and activities secret, maintain control by keeping everyone else “in their place” and share as little as possible.

Yet, leaders who recognize that even the new intern can have a breakthrough “genius insight” are genuinely secure and do not have to dominate. They also get the best out of their teams.

Thank you Nadine. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Apr
18

 

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It’s Week #16 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Jordan Kimmel, Co-founder of Trust Across America and a member of our Trust Alliance offers a simple suggestion:

Spend the time to build trust, and do it in incremental steps

Today’s reality is that it’s simply a low trust environment. Respect that.

Earning other people’s trust means being proactive and making sure my promises are delivered, while putting other’s interests first.

To build trust, one needs to first extend trust. Take small steps, and then take larger ones.

Giving some rope, allows the other party to earn more slack. Some relationships will take the rope and hang themselves, and often the warning signs present in the early stages of “trust-building.”

When promises are met, and mutual respect is shown, deep trust develops over time. Do what you say, say what you mean, take the incremental steps and reap the long-term rewards.

Thank you Jordan. We hope our readers heed this week’s advice.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its sixth year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.