Sep
30

October Events at Trust Across America

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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. -

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

October is an important month for Trust Across America-Trust Around the World.

October 1: The season officially gets underway for our 5th Annual Global Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business, honoring those with thought leadership expertise from around the world.  If you are unfamiliar with our program and want to read more about the honor or how to apply, please access this link. The nomination period will remain open until December 1.  Our 2014 Honor Roll can be view at this link.

October 27: During the week of October 27 we will be publishing the first edition of our quarterly publication TRUST! The Magazine of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. The theme for the fall 2014 inaugural edition will be:

Values to Value: Financial Institutions That Are Changing the Way Business is Done 

Trust Masthead

We have an all-star lineup of content rich stories. You can read our Magazine FAQ at this link and register to receive notification when it is published by completing our contact form.

We hope you share our excitement as we continue to bring focus to the topic of organizational trust, highlighting individuals and organizations who are making a difference.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

Sep
29

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Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
- Albert Einstein

 

Most leaders gauge their performance on metrics that “matter” to their Board of Directors like earnings growth, expansion, new products, acquisitions, cost savings, etc. But how much better would those KPI’s be if the man (or woman) in the ivory tower lead with trust?

Last week I wrote about The Blinder Effect at the Top. With Gallup’s research showing only 13% of workers as engaged, it’s not hard to conclude that most employees aren’t “feelin’ the love” and KPI’s suffer as a result.

It’s Monday morning. Do you know if you are leading with trust?

Record the following over the course of the week:

  • Percentage of employees who arrive to work on time.
  • Percentage of employees who call in sick.
  • Percentage of employees who leave work early.
  • Number of excuses for work not completed.
  • Number of fires you need to extinguish.

Also count the number of times you:

  • Come down out of your ivory tower and on to the shop floor.
  • Ask an employee about their family and kids.
  • Praise someone for a job well done or pat them on the back.
  • Hold an impromptu celebration or an ice cream party.
  • Ask for feedback.

Trustworthy leaders look up, walk around and engage with their employees. Practiced daily, your KPI’s will soar. This is the simple stuff, but it can’t be delegated.  As Nike says “Just do 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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Sep
28

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~ Aldous Huxley

We all know someone who has suffered a health scare and subsequently chose to get healthy. A new diet, exercise program and education in stress reduction. While most times the outcome is a holistically healthier individual, the choice is only made in the face of a crisis.

Five years ago Trust Across America-Trust Around the World developed a framework for organizational trust called FACTS. It operates off the same principles as holistic health. Our theory is a simple one. Just like the human body, all it takes for organizational failure is one diseased organ.

The healthiest people I know don’t wait for a crisis to get healthy. They practice it proactively. And in our research of over 2000 companies spanning 5 years, the most trustworthy companies follow the same strategy. Rather than reacting to a crisis, they build trust into their DNA. The healthy individual enjoys a longer and higher quality of life,  and the trustworthy company has greater profitability and longer-term sustainability. And while most people do not practice health proactively, neither do most companies.

Why not? As a CEO told me the other evening over a glass of wine, “I like that word trust. I never considered it as a business strategy.”

Don’t wait for the next crisis to get healthy. Build trust into your business agenda, and practice it proactively.  If you don’t know how, we can help.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

Sep
27

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There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else. Sam Walton

 

The email I had been waiting for arrived earlier this week, not from Home Depot, but from my credit card company. Without referencing the specific data breach, it simply stated that a new card was being sent to me. I’m still waiting for a similar note or letter from Home Depot.

Does the company care about maintaining trust with it’s customers?  Apparently not so much.

This was the “stock” statement released by the CEO:

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused, and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges,” said Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO.

I wrote about the home improvement industry in a blog post in July called Sorry Our Policy Doesn’t Permit It. At the time, it was unclear why the customer seemed to come last on their stakeholder value chain. But a few days ago, this article appeared on CNN Money and the answer became a bit clearer.

Why Home Depot is Not the Next Target

Apparently, if the stock price doesn’t suffer too much, all is well.

And in case you missed this article, there is even a suspicion that the breach may have been an “inside job.”

As in most similar crises, the company has now announced that they will enhance their security. And so the beat goes on….

I will get my new card and work through the maze and hassle of changing the information with companies on “autopay.”  That will only take me a few hours. But then I’m only a customer, not a stockholder, so my time has little value and the heck with trust.

The important takeaway should be obvious. Even in quasi monopolistic industries, customers always have a choice to spend their money somewhere else. What choice will you make?

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Sep
26

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We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options. David Suzuki

Question: What role does trust play as a business imperative when senior executives are unable to remove their blinders?

Answer: No role.

On two separate occasions, I posed the following questions to two senior executives at Fortune 500 companies:

Question #1:  How is trust in your organization?

1. Answer from Executive #1: We have no trust issues

2. Answer from Executive #2: We have no trust issues

Question #2: How do you know?

1. Answer from Executive #1: Our revenues are exploding and we are expanding globally.

Note: I call this the “shareholder value” answer.

2. Answer from Executive #2: Weren’t you listening during my speech? Our CSR and philanthropy program is one of the best.

Note: I call this the “corporate window dressing” answer.

Ask almost any C-Suite executive these questions and most likely you will get one of these answers.

Now let’s take a deeper dive

Executive #1 works for one of the largest health insurers in the world. Over 500 employees posted the following comments on Glassdoor.com. Overall, the employees rate the company a 3 out of 5.

  • Horrible health benefits (the company is a health insurer)
  • Huge cronyism issues
  • Tons of corporate politics and red tape
  • Poor appraisal process
  • High stress
  • It paid the bills
  • Management by fear
  • High turnover rates

Executive #2 works for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Let’s see what over 200 employees have to say about their work experience. Overall, the employees rate the company a 3 out of 5.

  • We played cards to reduce our workday from 8 to 6 hours
  • Employees not allowed to talk to each other
  • Too many company meetings and policies
  • No decent leadership
  • No morale
  • Leaders are inept
  • Bureaucracy and never ending process

Do these sound like “high trust” companies to you?

The Costs of Low Trust

  • Gallup’s research (2013) places 13% percent of workers as engaged (87% disengaged.)
  • The disengaged workforce (Gallup, August, 2013) is costing the US economy $450-550 billion a year, which is over 15% of payroll costs.

  • According to The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010), 84% of senior leaders say disengaged employees are considered one of the biggest threats facing their business. However, only 12% of them reported doing anything about this problem.
  • According to Edelman globally, 50% of consumers trust businesses, but just 18% trust business leadership.
  • And finally, in the United States, the statistics are similar, but the story is a bit worse for leadership. While 50% of U.S. consumers trust businesses, just 15% trust business leadership.

Building a trustworthy business will improve a company’s profitability and organizational sustainability.

A growing body of evidence shows increasing correlation between trustworthiness and superior financial performance. Over the past decade, a series of qualitative and quantitative studies have built a strong case for senior business leaders to place building trust among ALL stakeholders (not just shareholders) high on their priority list.

According to Fortune’s  “100 Best Companies to Work For”, based on Great Place to Work Employee Surveys, best companies experience as much as 50% less turnover and Great Workplaces perform more than 2X better than the general market (Source: Russell Investment Group)

Forbes and GMI Ratings have produced the “Most Trustworthy Companies” list for the past six years. They examine over 8,000 firms traded on U.S. stock exchanges using forensic accounting measures, a more limited definition of trustworthy companies than Trust Across America’s FACTS Framework but still somewhat revealing. The conclusions they draw are:

  • “… the cost of capital of the most trustworthy companies is lower …”
  • “… outperform their peers over the long run …”
  • “… their risk of negative events is minimized …”

From Deutsche Bank:

  • 85% concurrence on Greater Performance on Accounting –Based Standards (“… studies reveal these types of company’s consistently outperform their rivals on accounting-based criteria.”)

From Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which compared values-based and sustainable banks to their big-bank rivals and found:

  • 7% higher Return on Equity for values-based banks (7.1% ROE compared to 6.6% for big banks).
  •  51% higher Return On Assets for sustainable banks (.50% average ROA for sustainable banks compared to big bank earning 0.33%)

These studies are bolstered by analyses from dozens of other respected sources including the American Association of Individual Investors, the Dutch University of Maastricht, Erasmus University, and Harvard Business Review.

Do you think the two companies cited about have trust issues? How can we help them remove their blinders? How can we help them move beyond quarterly numbers and corporate window dressing?

As my friend Bob Vanourek likes to say. “Leaders must place trust on their daily docket.”

Business leaders may choose to ignore the business case for trust but the evidence is mounting, not only for the business case but also the financial one.  Trust works.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Sep
25

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“The rotten apple spoils his companion.” Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday John Baldoni published a thought provoking article in Forbes  Trust Matters Even to the NFL, and he was kind enough to include some of my thoughts.

At Trust Across America-Trust Around the World we believe that often the most well-deserving, shiniest apples are not those that get the most press coverage. The Manning family, and Eli in particular, have been vocal about the issue of domestic violence and its negative impact on the NFL’s image. Eli is not alone. There are many players in the NFL with high integrity and character. We should not forget this.

Regardless of the organization, when a crisis occurs, it become the problem of every stakeholder, whether they are innocent or guilty. It is important to remember that trust is built in incremental steps. In the course of doing so, the organization, and its leadership, bank trust. When a crisis strikes, they are better prepared and the blow is softened.

Let’s not blame the Eli Manning’s or the NFL “team” for the bad apples, or the resulting fallout from the latest scandal.

This story is really no different than General Motors. Rotten cultures produce rotten apples.

The NFL did not take the proactive steps required to bank trust in their organization, nor to build a trustworthy culture.

Quite simply, that’s a leadership issue. If trust is embraced as a business imperative, the next crisis just might be avoided.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Sep
24

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Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. Golda Meir, Former Israeli Prime Minister

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement.) The days in between are a period of reflection and repentance.

Occasionally I receive a note or a call from a religious leader acknowledging the importance of trust in our everyday lives.  But a Rabbi’s recent message struck a chord. This rabbi presides over a large congregation of business leaders. He said he regularly visits our website and had read our first book. It had inspired him to write a sermon about the subject of trust for the High Holidays. He joked about his audience being a captive one. “They have to listen.” The Rabbi acknowledged that “In most relationships, trust is taken for granted. It’s never discussed. But when the same occurs in business, the implications of low trust are much broader.”

A holiday is around the corner for most of us- Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. These are times for family gatherings. They are an opportunity to discuss trust and its role in our everyday lives.

  • If you have a young family, talk about family values and what they mean. Perhaps you can even make a written list and regularly refer to it at the dinner table. Update it and modify it over time.
  • If your children are older, the discussion might focus on a recent trust breach from the news- the NFL or Home Depot.
  • If you are spending time with adult friends, talk about the role of trust in your professional lives and how it might be improved.

Have the “trust talk.” It’s a great time of the year to do it.  But most important, never take trust for granted.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Sep
23

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My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better. Marlo Thomas

 

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of “being first in” when building trust.

Today’s blog is about staying to the right.

I divide the people I know according to a mental “trust chart” with a line drawn vertically down the middle.

The left side is called Wanters/Takers.

The right side is called Helpers/Givers.

The list of names to the left is much longer than the list to the right.

I don’t have a special category for those who claim they are givers, but are really takers in disguise. I just move them over to the left.

I’m baffled when people say “How can I help you?” when what they really mean is “How can you help me?”

The people on the left don’t understand the incremental steps that must be taken to build trust. They haven’t quite mastered the “character” component. In fact, it’s very likely that the people on the left aren’t interested in trust at all. They may just be short-term opportunists looking to seize a moment, not to build a relationship.

The people on the right want to build trust and they are the ones that matter. It’s amazing what happens in the world of trust when two helpers/givers get together. They understand the long-term strategic advantage of the “we” over the “me.” They push boulders up hills.

On which side of the trust chart do you fall?

What will you do today to be moved to the right?

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Sep
22

 

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No one ever excused his way to success. ~Dave Del Dotto

 

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard that expression as a child. It’s one I’ve passed along to my own kids.

I remember one particular night during my senior year in high school. I waited until the last minute to type a research paper (pre-computer, no “save” feature.) Before the typewriter ever had a chance to cool off, and in my hurry to meet the deadline, I took the only original typed copy and tore it into pieces. The marked-up draft sat unscathed. Suffice it to say, it was a long night.

When we rush to get things done, because we’ve waited until the last minute, oftentimes, the output is far from ideal. We may find that:

  • Haste makes waste (the end product is subpar)
  • Internal stress increases
  • Something gets in the way of completing the job (we tear up the wrong paper, the computer crashes, an emergency arises)
  • We make excuses
  • We ask for an extension
  • We don’t remember to do the work at all.

In business, being last to

  • finish an assignment
  • to show up at a meeting
  • to meet a commitment or a deadline

may be an indication of a lack of competence, credibility and consistency, considered by some to be the main attributes of trust.

It is often said to give more work to the busiest person on the team. Perhaps it’s because they rarely finish last.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Sep
21

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“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Today’s blog topic jumped right out of the headlines from the past 24 hours:

Football Must Regain the Public’s Trust

Trust Vital Between Officers & The Community

State Audit of Fayette Schools Shows Need to Restore Public Trust

Restore Public Trust

These headlines rarely change. Everyday we hear about the need to restore trust in education, communities, sports, business and government. The story is the same, only the names of the violators change. I can’t think of a single headline that ever read something like this ” We are Embracing Trust as a Business Imperative and Building it Into Our Foundation.”

There is enormous societal confusion swirling around the term “trust” that stems from this “restoration” approach. It is based on the assumption that trust was present before the crisis. In almost every case it wasn’t. Building a foundation of trust is a proactive decision made by the leaders of an organization, and it is built in incremental steps. In every one of the headlines above, I will venture to guess that trust was never a component of the leadership agenda, nor its Board of Directors.

Unfortunately, trust is taken for granted. It is assumed that it just “exists” when, in reality, it rarely does. Some leaders might argue, “Why bother? Maybe we’ll get lucky and never face a crisis.” I would respond that it’s much less expensive to build a foundation of trust, than it is to “manage” a crisis and attempt to build trust after the crisis. Building a foundation of trust also brings tangible and intangible benefits. These are just a few:

  • Improved collaboration driving decision-making speed, efficiency and innovation
  • Greater personal effectiveness for all involved, improving team projects and the odds of their coming to fruition
  • Increased employee responsibility and competence
  • Improved morale
  • Faster/more efficient new business development
  • Win/win opportunities both internally and externally

These are some pretty good reasons for building a foundation of trust. Don’t you agree? And remember, you CANNOT regain or restore something that never existed.

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. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.