Mar
01

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How much are you trusted personally or professionally? It’s not that difficult to be trust “worthy” and the rewards are enormous. Instead, most people choose to take trust for granted. They simply don’t stop to consider the benefits of high trust including lower costs (both monetary and emotional) and increased speed of decision making.

Here’s YOUR daily trust “cheat sheet.” Try it for one week!

  • Want your kids to trust you? Catch them doing something right and let them know.
  • Want your spouse to trust you? Do ANYTHING for them without being asked. Show you appreciate them.
  • Want your co-worker to trust you? Invite them to lunch and share something personal. Be a bit vulnerable.
  • Want your boss to trust you? Show up on time with no excuses. Be reliable.
  • Want your employees to trust you? Tell each one individually why you appreciate them. Show gratitude.

Mean what you say and say what you mean.

Character, competence, consistency and a bit of gratitude. It’s really quite easy.

Don’t forget to let me know what happens at the end of the week.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

Feb
26

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According to an earlier report by NJ 101.5 radio Chris Christie said he played by the rules during recent travel. And how exactly does Christie define playing by the rules?

“Everything that I do is cleared by ethics folks before I do it, and yeah I’m completely comfortable with it because I comply with the rules,” he said.

Makes sense, so what’s the problem? After all, it seems Christie broke no rules nor violated any laws.

Simply stated, the “ethics folks” are all attorneys. They are charged with ensuring compliance and nothing more. But what if Christie had posed the same scenario to his invisible “trust” staff. No doubt, their answer would have been quite different.

And therein lies the problem.

The public is demanding something else, something more than just compliance, something meaningful and authentic. Something that shows character and values. Whether it’s politicians, business leaders or sports figures, “playing by the rules” is no longer “enough.”

Visionary leaders build trust into their organization’s DNA through trustworthy leadership. While their “ethics folks” are certainly capable of keeping them “legal,” it takes the right kind of leader, surrounded by the right staff, to proactively take the next step toward building stakeholder trust.

Sorry Chris. From one LHS grad to another I like you, but you’re not getting what it takes to differentiate yourself from your colleagues.  The good news is, you have lots of company that doesn’t either.

And fortunately, it’s never too late to start building trust.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

 

 

Feb
26

 

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Welcome! Our monthly roundup is the latest collaborative undertaking of our Trust Alliance, self selected blog posts on a variety of organizational trust topics. The subjects are as diverse as the expertise of our members!

By reviewing these posts, you will have a better appreciation for the importance of embracing trust as an organizational imperative.

If you only read one post, read this one!

In Psychology Today, Nan Russell explains “The Real Reason Most Leaders Aren’t Thinking About Trust

Doug Turner Shows How Trust Precedes Innovation in HR Voice.

Are You Leading With a Wounded Spirit? Effective leadership is about who you are as a person—your values, beliefs, and character—and much less about what you actually do in terms of leadership techniques or practices. If your inner life as a leader is off track, it diminishes the impact you have on others. In this post Randy Conley shares five warning signs you may be leading with a wounded spirit.

Holly Latty-Mann explains how avoiding confrontation erodes credibility and trust.

Creating and sustaining trust requires an ongoing commitment in all our endeavors, personally and professionally.  As it’s something we pass on to those with whom we interact, Nadine Hack wrote this post about that process.

Linda Fisher Thornton asks 7 Questions For Ethical Culture Building.

And finally, my most popular post for the month: Build Organizational Trust, Ten “Ts”

Our next monthly roundup will be published at the end of March.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

 

Feb
21

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Donna Boehme recently shared a Wall St. Journal article by Ben DiPietro called I Wouldn’t Trust Us if I Were You.

A survey of 1,000 security and IT executives from around the world found 25% of respondents saying if they were a customer of their organization, they wouldn’t trust their company to store and manage their personal data…The research findings reveal some interesting contradictions between the perception and the reality of data security.

The article goes on to explore the findings from other data security surveys. But it was the comment at the end by Bruce K. that drove the point of today’s blog post home. Bruce writes:

Several years ago when I was working for a large international firm I found that the senior company execs that knew the least about IT were the most confident about their companies security and in many cases these were the companies that had the most porous borders. and data security controls.

Does the same apply to other important yet overlooked factors impacting organizational trust? Employee engagement, innovation, speed of decision making, and most important, profitability? As companies remain “stuck” in quarterly earnings and “compliance only” mentality, are senior execs ignoring the conditions that elevate organizational trust?

Data breaches are just one symptom of a diseased organization. Perhaps the impact of the others is not as deeply felt, but sometimes those are the ones that pose the largest threat to long-term success.

Our Trust Alliance has assembled a basic membership toolkit of organizational trust resources to help leaders in the best organizations get better by building trust into their long-term business strategy. The rest can continue to turn a deaf ear to trust and wait for the next data breach.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

Feb
18

 

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Not everything that’s legal is ethical, and not everything that’s ethical is trustworthy. Or is it? Well, it’s often subjective and the answer just might depend on who you ask.

Every January upon naming our Top Thought Leaders in Trust, unrelated third party companies troll our website seeking to grab our latest list and sell plaques and other “awards” to our honorees. These unscrupulous companies even prepare samples that include the name of our organization, giving the illusion that we have authorized these transactions. Sadly, their business practices are not considered illegal. My guess is these companies have a team of lawyers who keep their employer just to the “right” of what’s legal, and therefore also consider their actions ethical, merely because they are not violating any laws.

And every year, I must send out an apology note to our honorees explaining that I have no affiliation with these companies and have not authorized them to solicit our thought leaders.

This year, we even went so far as to require registration to receive a free issue of TRUST! Magazine containing the complete list, in an effort to protect our honorees against the intrusion of these unethical trolls. A few days later, there they were, registering to obtain the list.

A trustworthy business approach might be for the same companies to contact us and engage in an “above board” and transparent business relationship. I’m sure more plaques could be sold if they gained the endorsement of the award sponsor.

This is a great example of the difference between legality, ethics and trust. Sometimes what’s legal is not ethical. And what’s not ethical can certainly never fall within the category of trustworthy. And that’s why ethics is only a component of trust, a much more difficult goal to attain, and where most organizations fall short. The three terms are not interchangeable. But don’t try to explain this to lawyers or compliance professionals. After all, trust is nothing more than a “soft” feel good word, and certainly not a business strategy. Or is it? You decide.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

Feb
14

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m certainly not Dr. Ruth or an expert on interpersonal relationships, but I DO know a few things about trust. Whether interpersonal or organizational, low trust kills relationships.

According to Dr. Robert Glover

By nature women are security seeking creatures. Therefore, trust is everything and if you mess with a woman’s sense of trust, you also mess with her lust.

So on this Valentine’s Day 2015, I offer men (and women) around the world 6 simple ways to build trust (and sex) back into their relationships.

  • Have integrity. Tell the truth, not just when it’s convenient but all the time. In other words, “Man up” even if you did something wrong.
  • Be accountable by doing what you say you will do.
  • Be consistent in your words and actions.
  • Walk your talk. Don’t say “I care” without showing her you REALLY do.
  • Be proactive. Do something nice without being asked.
  • And finally, don’t forget the occasional “non-holiday” gift. It doesn’t need to be large or expensive, just make it meaningful and thoughtful, and a small sign that you know something about your “significant other” and that they exist.

Keep in mind that trust is built in incremental steps over time, and trust violations lengthen the process of (re)building it.

As Seth Godin said in his daily blog post today, Roses, chocolates and greeting cards are a stand-in for actual human emotions, a stand-in for caring and respect and love. But of course, it’s way easier to make the expense on chocolate go up than it is to actually care more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

Feb
11

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Should Brian Williams have been fired?

Two recent surveys conducted by the public relations firm of Edelman and the polling firm of Rasmussen Reports place public trust in media at historic lows. Edelman’s most recent global Trust Barometer shows a continuing decline in trust, down from 53% a year ago to 51% in 2015. Rasmussen’s poll of Americans is just slightly better.

The Williams incident is certainly not NBC’s first scandal. In fact, just a few days prior, another NBC debacle was swept under the rug in Washington. And let’s not forget Don Imus, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Mitt Romney and Martin Bashir to name just a few in recent years.

Does NBC think that firing Brian Williams is going to reverse this escalating decline of consumer trust in the media? According to NBC News President Deborah Turness, they do. Apparently, Brian has “a responsibility to be truthful and uphold high standards,” while the rest of the organization gets a free “pass.” Turness has had her hands full since joining NBC in 2013. And  for those who may have forgotten who owns the company, it’s Comcast, under the direction of Brian Roberts, another organization with more than just an occasional “oops.” In fact, Frank Eliason, the original “Comcast Cares” guy recently wrote this article about his former employer. If your bill came addressed to “Dear A–Hole would your trust in Comcast increase or decrease?

Can anyone else identify the real culprit here? Call it a lie, an embellishment, a mistake or a conflation, what Brian Williams did was wrong. But should NBC have fired him? Considering Williams is just one mangled car in a bad train wreck, how much responsibility lies with his boss and his or her boss’s boss? After all, aren’t they at least as much to blame as Williams, if not more so?

NBC has a problem with its culture. In fact, the entire industry does. Yet, that goes unmentioned by the people who have the power to change it.  Deborah Turness certainly didn’t mention culture when she fired Williams. And until she, Brian Roberts the remainder of the “C Suite” and the Board of Directors acknowledge their untrustworthy culture and take responsibility for affecting change, the industry will continue to lose the public’s trust. That’s the way trust works.

Brian Williams is just a symptom of a much larger problem. What is stopping the executives at NBC and every other media outlet from taking responsibility and charting a course to fix this systemic disease? The downward spiral of public distrust in media need not continue. Will the industry use the Williams incident as a culture wake-up call, before the public turns its back on it for good? What do you think?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

 

Feb
08

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What would happen if the following prerecorded messages were made illegal?

Your call is important to us

Listen as our menu options have changed

We are experiencing unusually high call volume

And instead, a person with just a bit of education and who had a decent command of the English language, answered your call and said the following; “Hello Customer, I’m here to help you. This call will not end until you are satisfied with the outcome.”

How would the customer experience change? What would be the long-term impact on the business? As companies grow larger and their executives get greedier, they consciously choose to substitute good customer service to save money. Profitability wins while “efficiency” and customers lose. This is short-term thinking and it busts trust with those who keep the company in business.

Makes no sense? Of course not.

Think about the calls you have placed to your health insurer, cable company, phone provider, even your doctor’s office. Check out the salaries and bonuses of those at the top of these organizations and then ask yourself how much YOU matter. The business of doing business is to serve customers, not the other way around. Leaders who choose to make their customers a low priority are not worthy of your business.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

Feb
05

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If trust is such an important element of long-term business success, why do so few executives embrace it as a business imperative?

Is it:

  • What can’t be measured can’t be managed?
  • Too much pressure to perform quarter to quarter?
  • Trust is simply taken for granted?
  • Compliance is all that matters?
  • Greed is good?

Any advice?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in learning more, and 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.

 

Feb
01

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Trustworthy businesses are also more profitable. There is simply no reason NOT to implement long-term strategies for increasing organizational trust starting today.

How can your organization elevate its level of trustworthiness?

Hint: It starts with the leader.

#1 Trustworthy leadership – Very simply, a culture of trust cannot exist with an untrustworthy leader. Trustworthy behavior must start at the top and carry down through every manager in an organization.

#2 Transformation – Productivity and execution begin when the CEO creates a set of values and goals that are shared, accepted and adopted by all stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, vendors, shareholders, etc.) CEOs should regularly address all stakeholders about the steps being taken to build trustworthy behavior within the organization. Trust should not be confused with compliance, CSR or PR. Being “legal”, having a CSR program or “advertising” your trustworthiness, are not synonymous with being trustworthy.

#3 Tools – There are many trust tools CEOs can use to build trust with their internal and external stakeholders. These run the gamut from metrics and assessments to online surveys. The results may be surprisingly good, or just the opposite. And if they are the latter, and really bad, it’s time to get busy. And maybe time to add a Chief Trust Officer to the C-Suite to oversee the implementation of long-term trust building strategies.

#4 Treatment- The Golden Rule says to “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This certainly holds true for trust. The CEO that extends trust to his or her stakeholders is more likely to have it returned. Trust fundamentally works by a series of reciprocating actions between the truster and the trusted.

#5 Teamwork – Teamwork leads to better decisions and better outcomes. Teams create trust, and trust creates teams. Breaking down silos, and in particular exhibiting trustworthy behavior in the C-Suite, should be on every CEO’s priority list. Teams whose members trust each other escalate both innovation and decision-making.

#6 Talk – Your stakeholders need to know what steps you are taking to build a trustworthy organization. Quarterly numbers are no longer the “be all and end all.” In fact, evidence is mounting that a trustworthy culture and “good numbers” go hand in hand. As mentioned earlier, long-term trustworthy behavior is more profitable – every quarter – than short-term changes that don’t “stick.”

#7 Truth – Truth-telling is at the core of trust. Any CEO who wants to build a trustworthy organization must have an extremely comfortable relationship with the truth. No company is perfect and it’s not necessary to air all the dirty laundry – just don’t lie about it or intentionally mislead. In times of crisis, a habit of truth telling yields particularly good returns. The absence of such habits can be disastrous.

#8 Time – Building a culture of trustworthy business does not happen overnight. It takes time, maybe even years – but not decades. The CEO who invests the time to educate himself or herself about how to build trust with teams and stakeholders — then develops a plan, communicates and implements it – will be rewarded with greater stakeholder trust. When a slip-up occurs, those who “banked” trust will recover faster.

#9 Transparency – Merriam Webster defines “transparent” as visibility or accessibility of information, especially with business practices. Any CEO who thinks he or she can still hide behind a veil of secrecy need only spend a few minutes on social media reading what their stakeholders are saying. In today’s world, transparency is no longer the risk – opacity has become the risk. Transparency must exist inside and outside the company. Communications and social media have roles to play here, but the fundamental is that transparency  builds trust.

#10 Thoughtful – Not all stakeholders need to know the company’s trade secrets, or what the CEO had for dinner. But if your company is serious about increasing trustworthiness, consider engaging all your stakeholders in rich, thoughtful conversations. Don’t approach them as constituencies to be maneuvered, managed or massaged. Instead, view them as vital contributors to a better organization by letting them into the conversation. To be a thoughtful company with a thoughtful strategy, trust the stakeholders to be thoughtful.

These suggestions are among dozens outlined in our award-winning TRUST Inc. book series. For your own personal well-being, and that of your organization, stop talking about trust and do something about it.

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.