Mar
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.

How did one company reverse a culture of skepticism through a simple strategy?

Read Donna Boehme’s First Step to Ethical Culture.

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An organization’s culture matters–it is what creates the productive energy of the workforce that can differentiate your company from all others. To this end, the CEO is the Chief Cultural Officer, who provides the direction, focus, and consistent support for the principles, values, vision, mission, and how people are going to work together in the company.

Edward Marshall explains Why Your CEO Must Also Be Your Chief Culture Officer

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Are we just settling for “avoiding conflict and tension?” Are we missing an opportunity to teach those we lead that respect is the minimum standard for workplace behavior, and that there is so much more?

Linda Fisher Thornton asks: Is Respect Enough?

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Humans have proven time and again that they prefer a good story to being tied down by those pesky facts.

Charlie Green discusses Facts, Phrases and Ferguson

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Trust Across America’s most popular blog post this month on LinkedIn Pulse. These are 10 observations I have made about trust and trustworthiness in American society:  10 Harsh Truths About Trust & Trustworthiness

 

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

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.

 

 

 

Mar
22

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Why Do CEOs Behave Badly?

Did anyone read this week’s article about Ryan Air in Time?

Led by brash, headline-grabbing CEO Michael O’Leary—known for calling customers “idiots” for thinking they won’t be hit with fees at the airport, among other things—Ryanair has a long, storied history of bad, misleading behavior. 

Or this article about Uber’s CEO?

In a Medium post from October titled “Can We Trust Uber?” entrepreneur Peter Sims recalls an event in which he had his Uber car’s location in New York unknowingly shared on a screen by company executives at a party in Chicago. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick did not seem to think twice about it, using it as an opportunity to show attendees the cool things the platform was capable of. This party trick was called “God View.”

And lest we forget what Mark Zuckerberg chose to call his customers just a few years ago.

Understanding that this arrogance shows a lack of character, integrity and disregard for customers, why would any CEO choose this route?

And being that profitability and trust are close allies, who are the real “idiots” and “dumb f–ks in this story?”

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.

 

 

 

 

Mar
19

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Animals teach us all sorts of life lessons. When dogs and cats are placed in close proximity, they offer a glimpse into the steps required to build trust.

Watching this short, amusing video may provide you with some clues (and solutions) on building trust with:

  • Your peers
  • Your co-workers
  • And even your boss

Enjoy!

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.

 

 

Mar
15

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

As the co-founder and Director of Trust Across America – Trust Around the World, I’ve been studying organizational trust (and trustworthiness) for the best part of seven years, have spoken to hundreds of global experts, and read thousands of articles, blog posts and books. I’ve also edited and contributed to three books in our TRUST Inc. series, publish a magazine called TRUST!, and regularly attend and speak at conferences. Some might call me an expert, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the more I learn about trust and trustworthiness, the less I understand it.

If you are like me, it’s almost impossible to go a full week without the news covering another major trust violation. Last week it was Hillary’s turn, before that Bill O’Reilly following on the heels of Brian Williams, and so on. These stories come and go and the American public has come to accept them as the norm. In fact, with each violation, the shock factor seems to diminish.

The following are ten observations I have made about trust & trustworthiness in American society:

  • Because there is no universally accepted definition of trust, your definition of trust and your standards of trustworthiness are different than mine. In fact, even prisoners think they are more trustworthy than the general population. Some of the self-proclaimed trust and leadership experts I have met are the least trustworthy upon close and careful inspection of their character, competence and consistency, yet they believe they are in a position to advise others.
  • As family “time” has eroded over the past generation, the moral compass that, in the past guided future generations (parenting) has all but disappeared. Compound this with the “win at all costs” mentality promoted by coaches on athletic fields across America and future generations may not be empowered with the right tools or behavior.
  • America’s entire public educational system is based on “grades” not learning, and cheating and grade inflation have become an accepted norm in schools and universities. Parents “game” the system by having their children classified as “math anxious or test frightened” so they are allotted extra time on tests to boost that all important GPA, and Athletes have it the best. In other words, parents are not helping their children to grow up to be trustworthy adults.
  • Government officials, beginning with our local community leaders place their political agendas before the betterment of the constituents who elected them, and this obliterates the opportunity to build community trust. Our elected officials believe that if they don’t violate any laws, they are trustworthy. Americans are very forgiving of trust violations and even outright lies. In fact they overlook them.
  • Same goes for corporate America. Our “win at all cost” athletes and students are considered to be the “best in class” and are recruited by major companies. There’s no “moral compass litmus test” administered before the job offer. Similar to our government leaders, corporate leaders also believe that as long as they stay “just to the right” of compliance, and grow their quarterly earnings, there is no need to give a second thought to cultivating a trustworthy organization or hiring for the “right” reasons. Stock buybacks, executive compensation and short-termism are all trust busters.
  • Boards of directors don’t understand the role of organizational trust any better than the leaders they select. One need look no further than the composition of most Boards to appreciate and understand this.

Rules are often put in place to curtail the abuses of the past. A “leader” that is only guided by compliance begs the question: What would their behavior be in the absence of rules? Does one want to follow someone that needs rules to know what is right? Or are true leaders to inspire trust by staying clear of conflicts of interest and abuses of power.

  • The word “trust” is so overused and misused that it is no longer sacred. The media throws around the word “trust” as if it were  a headline hot potato. Frequently, journalists and writers confuse trust with regulation, loyalty and ethics. But the word “trust” is a better sound byte, so why not misuse it?
  • And speaking of the media, they continue to perpetuate low trust by focusing only on the bad actors, giving no “space” to those who are doing the right thing.
  • I frequently talk about trust with leaders of organizations of different shapes and sizes.  Not only do they not “get it” they have little interest in learning. They believe trust is all about falling into someone’s arms and hoping they catch you.  Instead of embracing trust as a business strategy, leaders hold their collective breaths hoping they are not the subject of the next news headline.

Is there a silver lining to this bleak picture?  Yes, because some families still gather around the dinner table every night and not every child is a cheater. There will always be the Bobby Knights vs. the Mike Krzyzewskis, and the first day of work for a new hire at Zappos may be very different than the first day at JP Morgan. In other words, industry is not destiny. Like most things in life, trustworthy people and organizations line up along a bell curve. Half are below average, but half are above average, and a select few find themselves all the way to the right. They are the heroes and stars that should be making the headlines.

Just the other day, someone told me that Trust Across America – Trust Around the World is making a difference. I suppose the growth of our Alliance proves that we are moving in the right direction. But a gnawing fear remains. Trust is not only misunderstood, overlooked or taken for granted by most people, leaders and organizations, it’s also voluntary. And, after all, why give a second thought to that which is not regulated, at least not in America?

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.

 

 

Mar
10

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

A little secret…. do you know the single factor that impacts an organization’s bottom line more than any other?

Low trust.

It’s almost a guarantee that one of these is present in your organization and your bottom line is suffering as a result:

  • Boards members don’t trust each other, nor do they trust the CEO
  • Executives don’t trust themselves nor their management team
  • Employees don’t trust their bosses and vice versa
  • Consumers don’t trust the products to deliver what they say they will and they certainly don’t trust customer service to respond in any way that elevates trust
  • Communities don’t trust the company not to pollute the local environment.

And so on…

Sound familiar?

Trustworthy organizations have a trust “edge” over their competitors, directly impacting profitability through:

  • Faster decision making
  • Speed of innovation
  • Higher employee retention with better overall health and less stress
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Long-term focus and less short-term pressure
  • Fewer crises
  • Improved hiring- people want to work for trustworthy employers
  • Elevated reputation with all stakeholders
  • Holistic organizational “wellness”

Contrary to what others may say or believe, the decision to lead with trust is always made at the top. When the leader lays it on the line that character and integrity matter more than short-term profitability, the entire organization shifts its long-term perspective and the way it “does” business. It’s up to the CEO to:

  • First gain an understanding of what a trust strategy means across the entire organization (it’s not ethics or compliance) and how a trustworthy company should act.
  • Communicate values loud and clear to all stakeholders- board of directors, employees, shareholders, vendors, suppliers, customers.
  • Keep that word and promise ALWAYS. Live up to those espoused values. There’s nothing worse than a leader who “talks trust” but fails to walk it.
  • Use communications channels to issue frequent reminders about the trust and integrity imperative in the organization.
  • Become accessible- Roll up those sleeves, leave the ivory tower and go to talk to the people who make it possible to buy those custom-made shirts.
  • Display excellence always. Nothing speaks “trust” louder than character, competence and consistency combined with a bit of generosity.

Companies that proactively build trust into their DNA see expenses decrease and profitability increase.

Not yet convinced?  Take a moment to read this short article that makes the business case for trust from a research perspective.

Need more proof? This is an excellent summary of where we are today in corporate America and where we might be heading if we maintain the “low trust” status quo.

Lemmings tend to follow each other off cliffs. Those who choose a different path to profitability never get close enough to the cliff to worry about falling off.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar
08

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Some encouraging headlines for consumers, employees and the public….

McDonalds is limiting the use of antibiotics in its chicken according to NPR

Nestle says “Goodbye” to artificial colors as reported by CNN

Be it for the right or wrong reasons, Walmart is raising its minimum wage as is TJX

Capital One empowers Americans to close the digital skills gap by committing $150 million in community grants

When companies do more than just talk about the importance of “good business” and begin walking it with commitments like the above, it’s a good sign. From my perspective these announcements sound like more than just corporate window dressing.

It’s worth mentioning that McDonald’s has a brand new CEO and Walmart a relatively new one. Nestle is a Swiss company, and TJX is run by a woman. The CEO of Capital One, Richard Fairbank is also its founder.

Building organizational trust is a “top down” business strategy. Sometimes it takes a new leader to bring a fresh perspective regarding the imperative to build trust with all stakeholders. Other times tenure is more important, and recently it’s been reported by Fortune that women not only make better CEOs, but perform 3X better than the S&P 500.

Whatever the reasons, I’m glad to read these headlines and hope more companies follow suit. Let’s keep the momentum going on that tidal shift in organizational 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.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar
04

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

And that is why I’m glad that I am not a Goop, are you?– Gillette Burgess

 

Who remembers the childhood poem about The Goops? It’s an oldie but goodie. Our family recited it in lieu of a prayer at the dinner table, and now as an adult, I have relatively good table manners. When we don’t teach our children “right from wrong” and ignore or overlook their bad behavior, they carry it into adulthood.

Certain professions are reputed for low ethics- bankers, lawyers, PR firms, marketing consultants. The world of trust and leadership is not without its goops, perhaps because there are simply no barriers to entry. One need not have a college degree, any experience or table manners. Like me, I’m sure you’ve met your fair share along the way.

Use this as a checklist to identify the next goop you meet.

  • They grandstand about the importance of trust, integrity, values, ethics and leadership but are incapable of walking it in their daily lives. They never learned how to use the soup spoon, let alone the knife and fork.
  • They help themselves to the work of others without proper attribution, also known as plagiarism.
  • They “borrow” intellectual property-  logos, pictures, articles and anything else they choose with a sense of entitlement and no remorse.
  • Their professional “claims” can’t be verified or checked.
  • They are quick to blame but slow to accept responsibility.
  • They say they are givers which makes them the worst kind of takers.
  • They don’t keep their word.
  • They speak hollow lingo- “listening” (this week), “mindfulness” (last week) and “trust” the week before.
  • “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” are not part of their vocabulary.
  • They lick their plates :)

Do any of the above sound familiar?

Why do we have “high trust” expectations of leaders in business, politics, media and sports? Why should we expect these public figures to be trustworthy when many of the people who claim to be the teachers and advisors to leaders on ethics and trust are not?

It’s lunchtime. I think I’ll go slurp some soup and join the rest of the goops. On second thought, I think I’ll pass. I’d rather go hungry. How about you?

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.

 

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

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

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

 

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

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.