Sep
01

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

In your opinion what is the bigger issue in your organization? That’s the simple question we are asking this month. Your response is important and it won’t take more than 30 seconds. Here’s the link:

bit.ly/1NBCp2W

Thank you so much for weighing in. We will report on the results later this month.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

Aug
29

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

What can we learn about trust from the great leaders, teachers, writers and philosophers?

JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING

This week we turn our attention to the words of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, coauthors of The Leadership Challenge, educators and management consultants. I have gotten to know Jim over the past several years, and he has recently been named one of our Lifetime Honorees as a Top Thought Leader in Trust. While many “talk trust,” Jim is one of just a small handful of people who “walks their talk.” 

This article pulls together twenty of Jim and Barry’s most inspiring quotes. Regardless of your role in life- a parent, teacher, business, religious or military leader, the following contain many messages about character, competence and consistency, the key ingredients in building trust.

  1. “Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others.”
  2. “The leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over time. The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is to the long-term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, and grow.”
  3. “There’s nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
  4. “Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that earns you respect.”
  5. “Find your voice by clarifying you personal values.”
  6. “Leaders enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.”
  7. “The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present.”
  8. “You can’t fast track your way to excellence.”
  9. “Leaders don’t have to change history, but they do have to change “business as usual.”
  10. “Leading by example is more effective than leading by command.” Unite your constituents around a common cause and connect with them as human beings.”
  11. “Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.”
  12. “The leader merely coordinates and puts into action the wants and desires of the group.”
  13. “People commit to causes, not to plans.”
  14. “Living in a cave does not make you a geologist and simply being in a management position does not make you a great leader.”
  15. “Leadership can’t grow in a culture that isn’t supportive of continuing development.”
  16. “Say thank you. Let the other person know that you appreciate his or her feedback and that you can’t get any better without knowing more about yourself and how your actions affect others.”
  17. “Leaders say YES.”
  18. “The worst thing someone can do is to see a problem and think it is someone else’s responsibility.”
  19. “The next time you see a problem and say “Why doesn’t someone do something about this?” take a look in the mirror and say instead, “I’ll be someone to do something about it.”
  20. “Model the Way – Inspire a Shared Vision – Challenge the Process – Enable Others to Act – Encourage the Heart”

 

My favorites are #1, #11, #13 and #20. How about yours? Want to read more from this series? We recently highlighted some of the best quotes on building trust from:

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

Did you know we have published 3 books in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. They are yours when you join our Alliance.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

Aug
19

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

If your life is anything like mine, you spend waste at least an hour every week, sometimes more, on a customer service issue involving some third party vendor who claims to be in business to enhance your personal or professional life. Comcast, Verizon, First Energy and all health insurance providers top this list. I’m not sure why these companies still bother using the word “service.” CHR or Customer Hindrance Representative would be more accurate.

These calls usually begin by pressing lots of buttons, entering many codes and personal information, and then being put on hold due to “heavy call volume” while being told the “call is important to us.” Often, before the offshore CHR picks up, the call is disconnected, and the process must be repeated. The latest “innovation” is notification that the call is being recorded. For whose benefit is that? One can only guess.

Who remembers when customer service meant something? When customers came before profits, calls were answered by an actual living being who had at least an elementary command of the English language, and who hadn’t been handed a robotic script to answer questions? It wasn’t really that long ago. But apparently now companies think they can save redirect money by hiring minimum wage, offshore CHRs and then, in the name of “training” hand them a list of responses that were certainly written by the legal department, and from which they cannot deviate. Not only are these companies sending a message that they do not trust their employees, apparently they also have little regard for their customers. The term “I apologize” is #1 on this script and so companies have taken two sacred words and devalued them into meaningless drivel that is supposed to solve all customer issues, regardless of the problem.

Is it any wonder why consumers have so little regard for the companies with which they do are forced to do business? Is it any wonder why trust in business continues to decline? Is it any wonder that more than 70% of employees are disengaged at work?

Who decided this was a “better way?” How did this happen? Is there a solution?

I propose a simple experiment.

  • Put every manager on phone duty for one week. Heck, call it “The Golden Rule” CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program and kill two birds with one stone.
  • Send the entire legal department on vacation during this same time period.
  • Replace the script with these 7 words: Let me see what I can do.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO & Co-founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World . Established in 2008, the program’s mission is simply to provide tools and assistance to organizations interested in building stakeholder trust. Barbara runs the world’s largest organizational trust membership program. 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.

Barbara is an award-winning communications executive and former consultant to McKinsey who has run her own firm, Next Decade, Inc., that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over twenty years. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

Aug
11

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

I wish I could take credit for the title of this article but it belongs to Marillyn A. Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s CEO and a Trust Across America 2015 Top Thought Leader in Trust. In a recent article in National Defense Magazine, Ms. Hewson discusses the steps required to integrate trust and ethics. If you don’t have time to read the full article, these are the five steps:

  • Establish an ethics program grounded in values
  • Build a culture of communication
  • Lead by example
  • Address issues quickly
  • Hold business partners to the same standards

As Hewson shows, this process pays off.

The leadership consulting firm KRW International recently looked into business ethics. They found that moral leaders actually tend to make their companies more profitable. Employees rated their bosses on attributes like character and integrity, and sure enough, businesses led by upright CEOs saw an average return on assets nearly five times greater than those led by bosses perceived to be less moral.

This is further evidence of  Trust Across America’s updated business case for trust, the first article in the spring issue of TRUST! Magazine and our claim that trust is the “ultimate” compliance and ethics program.

The majority of business leaders continue to hold fast to their beliefs that trust is a “soft” skill, while the enlightened minority embraces trust as a business imperative and reaps the rewards.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO & Co-founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World . Established in 2008, the program’s mission is simply to provide tools and assistance to organizations interested in building trust. Barbara runs the world’s largest organizational trust membership program. 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.

Barbara is an award-winning communications executive and former consultant to McKinsey who has run her own firm, Next Decade, Inc., that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over twenty years. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch (City University of NY).

Aug
06

Print 

What can we learn from organizational trust missteps, and occasionally the steps that propel us forward in a positive way?  This was the question we asked when designing our new Trustlets series (quick case studies on organizational trust.)

The following is a sample Trustlet from our first series:

Takata/General Motors/Fiat Chrysler: Automakers and the Public Trust

Overview:

The largest consumer product recall in U.S. history was announced in May 2015 when Takata, after numerous deaths, doubled its faulty airbag recall to 34 million vehicles, impacting 11 automakers. This comes in the wake of the General Motors airbag crisis that claimed over 100 lives, as well as a Fiat Chrysler airbag recall. All three cases are attributed to “cost cutting” measures.

For the first time in history, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is exercising legal authority that it gained about 15 years ago from the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation Act, or TREAD Act.

Articles to be read before discussion:

Read Newsday: Automakers Risk Losing the Public Trust Forever

Read Reuters: Takata Faces Questions Over Airbag Fix

Read Detroit Free Press: NHSTA Tightening Oversight

What industry conditions or behaviors lead to greater regulatory action? What social solutions are available to create greater trust on the part of consumers?

Questions for discussion:

  • What could Takata have done differently?
  • Is tightening oversight the only solution to restore consumer trust?
  • What steps must the automakers take to restore consumer trust?
  • What should an automotive CEO be doing to walk the trust talk?
  • When cost cutting measures result in deaths, should executives serve jail time?

Who is the intended audience for Trustlets? A few suggestions…

  • Executive Education
  • Undergraduate & Graduate Business Classes
  • Work Teams in Every Organization
  • Boards & C-Suites
  • Workshops & Facilitated Discussions

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the role of trust in organizational strategy. Trustlets compel participants to apply their theoretical ideas and practical trust experiences to real-world cases.

If you are interested in learning more about our Trustlets series, please click here.

 

Copyright © 2015 Next Decade, Inc.

Aug
03

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

In your opinion what are the three most important characteristics of a trustworthy individual? That’s the simple question we are asking this month. Can you spare 30 seconds to respond? Here’s the link:

bit.ly/1LWmNVB

The results of our July Trust Quest in cased you missed it….

linkd.in/1Mc5h08

Thank you so much for weighing in. We will report on the results later this month.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

Jul
30

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

Welcome!

While our monthly roundup is normally a collaborative undertaking of our Trust Alliance, this month we gave our members a well-deserved holiday and instead assembled a handful of Barbara Brooks Kimmel’s most popular articles and interviews of 2015.

Our goal is to provide our readers with  a better appreciation for the importance of embracing trust as an organizational imperative.

Let’s get started!

In this Forbes article some tough organizational trust questions are answered, including:

  • “How can individuals and organizations capitalize on trust?”
  • “Jack Welch recently said that the only thing an executive today should be focused on is trust. Why do you think Mr. Welch have arrived at that conclusion in 2015?”

Our July Trust Quest asked: Which is the greater problem facing today’s society? Is it an unwillingness to trust others or alternatively, that people just aren’t trustworthy enough? Here’s the results of the poll. Our August poll launches on August 1. We hope you will participate.

The terms compliance, ethics and trust are often used synonymously when they shouldn’t be. What’s the difference and how can leaders ensure that trust stands alone? This Culture University article answers those questions.

Our most popular post year-to-date simply asksIs it Too Lonely at the Top for Trust?

And finally, the most downloaded article from our website, and perhaps the key that unlocks the trust door is called “Return on Trust.” It’s a reprint from our quarterly magazine called TRUST!

Enjoy!

Jul
27

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

How do low-trust leaders communicate when faced with a trust breach? Here’s a quick sampling of 10 “one- liners” pulled from the headlines over the past several weeks.

  1. “It was our legal right to do so.”
  2. “I had no hard evidence.”
  3. “Errors are inadvertent and happen.”
  4. “We will increase our compliance monitoring.”
  5. “There was no calculation to mislead people.”
  6. We’re all a bit stunned by the news.
  7. “I mean it when I say we screwed up.”
  8. “No comment at this time.”
  9. “We continue to cooperate with the relevant authorities on pursuing those responsible for this criminal act.”
  10. “I was totally unaware that this was in the works.”

Huh, what and are you kidding?

Why do we continue to read these rehashed headlines after a trust violation and why do leaders use these excuses? Very simply because organizational trust is not regulated; it’s voluntary. And because of this one simple fact, trust is largely ignored in most organizations. It’s not practiced proactively unless leadership places trust high on it’s business agenda. That’s called intentional trust, and it’s very rare. Instead, most leaders wait for the next crisis (which is a “given” in low trust organizations) and then pull an excuse from the list above, usually with the assistance of the legal department.

If ANY leader of ANY organization actually believes that these “one-liners” build long-term trust with stakeholders, please drop a note to barbara@trustacrossamerica.com . I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel has been the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  since 2008. The program’s mission is simply to provide tools and assistance to organizations interested in building trust. Barbara runs the world’s largest organizational trust membership program. 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.

Barbara is an award-winning communications executive and former consultant to McKinsey who has run her own firm, Next Decade, Inc., that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over twenty years. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch (City University of NY).

Jul
22

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Do trustworthy CEOs share similar profiles?

What about their untrustworthy counterparts?

Since 2010, Trust Across America™ (TAA) has been conducting an annual review to identify The Most Trustworthy Public Companies in America. Over 2000 companies are independently screened through our custom FIDES™ software using our proprietary Framework called FACTS®, ranking the trustworthiness of companies on five primary indicators of trustworthiness: Financial stability, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate governance, Transparency and Sustainability. No internal assessments or surveys are completed and companies do not know they are being analyzed.

This past April we released our fifth year of findings and named our Top Ten Most Trustworthy Public Companies (over 5 years.)

What do the CEOs of these “Top 10″ companies have in common and how do their profiles compare to the “least trustworthy” in our model?

Most Trustworthy Profile:

  • All are men
  • All were born between 1950 and 1960
  • All were promoted from within to CEO
  • Seven of the ten have been the CEO for at least five years (well above the national average CEO tenure)
  • Undergraduate education is diverse and less than half have MBAs

We then took one additional step, reviewing the profiles of the CEOs from the ten LEAST trustworthy companies (with market capitalization over $10 billion) and here’s what we found:

Least Trustworthy Profiles:

  • All are men
  • Born between 1934 and 1967
  • Five of the ten were promoted from within (three of the five became CEO through mergers)
  • Six of the ten have been CEO for over five years
  • Undergraduate education is diverse and one has no college degree

What conclusions, if any, should be drawn from this small study?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel has been the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  since its founding in 2008. The program’s mission is simply to provide tools and assistance to organizations interested in building trust. Barbara runs the world’s largest organizational trust membership program. 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.

Barbara is also an award-winning communications executive and former consultant to McKinsey who has run her own firm, Next Decade, Inc., that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over twenty years. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA in Marketing from Baruch (City University of NY).

 

Jul
18

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Which is the greater problem facing society? Is it an unwillingness to trust others or alternatively, that people just aren’t trustworthy enough? This is the question we posed in our July Trust Quest and here are the results. Apparently it is an unwillingness to trust others. Do you agree?

Trust QuestT - July 2015 Summary Report copy

Our next Trust Quest poll will launch on August 1 on the home page of the Trust Across America website.

The summer issue of TRUST! Magazine has just been published. If you are interested in the subject of organizational trust, you can read more about the summer issue at this link.

07-15 Trust Magazine-Cover Final

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 the subject. Barbara 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 annual 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.

Did you know we have published 3 books in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. They are yours when you join our Alliance.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.