Feb
20

Trust is not a soft skill, nor should it be taken for granted. It is a tangible asset that impacts the bottom line.

Last week’s blog post discussed the various ways that low trust can kill an organization. So how can trust be elevated? We asked our Trust Alliance members to weigh in and the following are some “best practices” for building organizational trust.

  • First identify what builds trust and what breaks trust. Bob Vanourek
  • Agree on core values, then practice and reinforce them daily. Barbara Brooks Kimmel
  • Build cultures of commitment vs. compliance where choices are guided by values, not policies. Mark Fernandes
  • Work tirelessly to dispel the illusion that trust is a soft skill. Doug Conant
  • Be a role model. Charlie Green
  • Be inclusive in your decision-making process. Nadine Hack
  • Set intentional promises and expectations on what you will deliver to all stakeholders. David Reiling
  • Go public when expressing gratitude; go private when expressing disappointment. Holly Latty-Mann
  • Presume good intentions. Bart Alexander
  • In every interaction with every person, ask yourself “What can I do in this moment to strengthen the trust between us?” Jim Kouzes

Our growing global Trust Alliance is working to build tools to help organizations of all sizes and shapes build trust. What’s stopping you from joining?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey & Co., she also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

Join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.

 

Feb
13

 

Did you know that the average lifespan of a public company is now less than 20 years, down from 60 years in the 1950s? While some might argue that disruptive technology is to blame, that’s a smoke screen for the real culprit. After all, high trust companies are great innovators.

Today’s pervasive low trust business environment might be the #1 risk to every company. Without trust as a foundation, the chances for long-term survival are slim to none, and crises are a sure bet.

While trust holds the key to long-term success  it remains the single most overlooked, yet one of the simplest business strategies to implement.

How many of these low trust warning signs are present in your organization?

  1. Trust is taken for granted and viewed as a soft skill. It is never discussed.
  2. There is no Chief Trust Officer or keeper of the culture. Instead, the Chief Compliance Officer wields the “big stick” and remains the laughing stock of the employees.
  3. corporate credo or core values are nonexistent, or the one in place is no more than Kumbaya “words” on the corporate website.
  4. Strategies to elevate organizational trust have never been discussed let alone defined, shared or agreed upon.
  5. Leadership is focused on survival and short-term profitability. In fact, compensation is tied to quarterly earnings.
  6. The leadership team lacks leadership skills and never speaks publicly without “legal” sign off. (Great college lacrosse players don’t necessarily make trustworthy leaders.)
  7. There is not a single woman in sight on the executive leadership team.
  8. A well-defined hiring strategy has not been implemented resulting in cultural misalignment, confused and non engaged employees.
  9. Employee turnover is high but no one asks “Why?”
  10. Board members are “Yes men” for the CEO, and “Yes” they are all men.

How many of these trust “fails” do you see on a daily basis? What’s your guess on the longevity of your business?

Want to learn more about building organizational trust? Our website provides an endless number of tools and resources for elevating organizational trust. Many of them are free. Read a book, join our Trust Alliance, find an hour to discuss a Case Study, read the Trust Across America blog.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

Join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.

 

Feb
06

“Professors are reacting to the news, but they are also responding to calls from students for classes that deal with ethics. In recent years, students have said ethical issues, not finances, are a business’s most important responsibility, according to a survey of business school students worldwide conducted by a United Nations group and Macquarie University in Australia.”

This is a quote from a December NY Times article addressing the growing demand for teaching ethics in business schools.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is pleased to announce the launch of a free case study library offering examples of “real life” business trust & ethics challenges and successes. The one-page “Trustlets” are designed to encourage discussion in both an academic and business setting and include instructions for facilitators. Written by members of the Trust Alliance, our Top Thought Leaders in Trust and academics from around the world, Trustlets will provide free and easy access to content that will be regularly updated as new cases are submitted. Each case will focus on a specific business challenge and covering a broad range of trust and ethics related topics. Both schools and businesses can feel free to access the library to meet the growing interest recently highlighted in the NY Times.

This latest initiative closely aligns with Trust Across America’s mission of helping organizations build trust. Trustlets provide a new tool that future business leaders can utilize to gain a “real life” understanding of how elevating trust & ethics are both a necessary (and expected) component of good business practices.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. We welcome all our readers to join in our celebration as we roll out many new programs during the year ahead.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is a program of Next Decade, Inc., an award-winning communications firm that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over 20 years. TAA-TAW helps organizations build trust through an abundance of resources and ever expanding tools, many offered at no cost. It also provides its proprietary FACTS(R) Framework to help public companies improve their trustworthy practices, and showcases individuals and organizations exhibiting high levels of trust and integrity.

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
29

 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW), global leaders in organizational trust honors its 2018 Top Thought Leaders in Trust. The awards program, now in its 8th year, celebrates professionals who are transforming the way organizations do business.

While a growing number of global “top” lists and awards are published every year, no others address organizational trust, perhaps because the word “trust” itself presents a definitional challenge. For almost 10 years TAA-TAW has been working with a team of cross-functional professionals to study, define and quantify organizational trust, integrity and trustworthiness.

According to Barbara Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder, “The publication of this year’s honors comes shortly before the official commencement of our 10th year anniversary celebration. In collaboration with global members of our Trust Alliance, we will be creating several new programs and tools to help organizations build trust.”

This year we recognize 91 global professionals from a broad functional base including integrity and trust, leadership, culture, compliance and ethics, reputation and risk management, governance, CSR, communications, employee engagement, sales and customer service. Approximately 27% of our 2018 honorees are women.

We are presenting our honorees in five categories:

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners (8)

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners 2015-2017 (29)

Multi-year honorees (22)

CEOs of Public Companies (7)

Newcomers (25)

This year we are honoring eight professionals with a Lifetime Achievement Award. These deserving individuals have maintained Top Thought Leader status for five years. We congratulate all of our honorees whose work is shining a spotlight on the importance of trust and providing a roadmap for others to follow. They inspire organizations to look more closely at their higher societal purpose…to create greater value for, and trust from all of their stakeholders, and acknowledge that trust is a “hard currency” with “real” returns.

The 2018 Lifetime Honorees can be accessed at this link, while complete details including our methodology, judges, award winners, articles and additional trust resources can be found in the free digital Winter 2018 issue of TRUST! Magazine.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World™ is a program of Next Decade, Inc., an award-winning communications firm that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over 20 years. TAA-TAW helps organizations build trust through an abundance of resources and ever expanding tools. It also provides its proprietary FACTS(R) Framework to help public companies improve their trustworthy practices, and showcases individuals and organizations exhibiting high levels of trust and integrity.

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
20

On June 19, 2017 Trust Across America published its annual Top Ten Most Trustworthy Public Companies, describing its selection methodology and other relevant details.

Just one day earlier, CNBC’s Michael Santoli announced that the S&P had already met its average return for the full year.

Seven months have passed since June 19, the S&P has continued its advance and America’s Most Trustworthy Companies are outperforming this benchmark by 32.25%. (The S&P 500 has returned 14.54% vs. FACTS(R) 19.23%.)

The cynical reader might conclude that Trust Across America’s FACTS(R) Framework “got lucky” with its picks and no correlation exists between high trust and profitability. But a closer analysis of our publicly released “Top 10” over six years will reveal that our systematic selection of the most trustworthy public companies might just be more than good luck.

The simple fact is trust works year-over-year. (And just maybe the percentage of women on boards enhances these stellar returns.)

Do you have any questions? Please direct them to barbara@trustacrossamerica.com.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
15

 

 

Without generosity elevating organizational trust is not attainable, and the resulting low trust level is very expensive. Think about that. If leaders do not give their time or expertise to their stakeholders, they should not expect more than minimal progress in any facet of their enterprise. Unfortunately, low generosity is the “norm” not the exception in the *age of diminishing trust, and financial philanthropy is not a sufficient substitute.

As the CEO of Trust Across America, and in celebration of our 10th anniversary, I am pledging to freely give two hours per week of my time to share the organizational trust expertise I have developed over this ten-year period.

Email me at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com , message me on LinkedIn or post your question right here. What organizational trust challenge are you trying to solve? Let me know. I will respond directly or, if I do not feel qualified to answer, I will pass your inquiry to the best qualified member of our Trust Alliance. There is no cost to you whatsoever. It is simply Trust Across America’s way of positively impacting the trust challenges our global society currently faces.

*Need further proof?

  • Employee engagement continues to fall to 32% on 8/6/17
  • Organizations with low employee engagement scores saw 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time. (Source: Queens School of Business and by the Gallup)
  • Innovation stalls
  • 86% of corporate executives, employees and educators say that ineffective communications is a big reason for failures in the workplace. (Source: Salesforce)

Maybe you can find a way to participate in The Year of Living Generously. It starts today. How much time will you spare to share your expertise and elevate trust?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jan
06

Photo courtesy of blog.ipleaders.in

Ten years of ongoing research on organizational trustworthiness has Trust Across America concluding that well-governed companies are less prone to crisis and more profitable over the long term.

One need not look beyond Uber to the fallout of a corporate governance failure. Yet, as a business leader, my definition of “well governed” may not necessarily align with yours.

If your current or past experience includes Independent Lead Directorship, Board Chair or CEO (either active or retired), would you kindly take a few minutes to respond in writing, with short answers, to the following questions?

  • What does/did the term “good corporate governance” mean to you?
  • What are/were some of the key governance practices you find/found most useful to good corporate governance?
  • What are some suggestions you have for improved corporate governance in the future?

We hope to receive 50 responses to be published in a special upcoming governance issue of TRUST! Magazine as well as in a series of articles.

If you do not want to be identified, that works too, but please respond with the following information.

Name:

Title:

Company:

Can we publish your response with your name and title?

 

Please reply directly to me: Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com. We are hoping to collect your response no later than February 1, 2018, in time for our publication. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel
CEO and Cofounder

Dec
26

The chart above shows the “Return on Trust” of America’s Most Trustworthy Public Companies over the past six years. As a corporate leader every year that passes makes ignoring the business case for trust more difficult to justify. Yet in our almost ten years of research, Trust Across America continues to find that most business leaders do just that, they ignore trust. The following are the five main reasons why corporate leaders are missing out on perhaps their single most important strategic advantage.

Leaders take trust for granted

Trust doesn’t just “happen.” It’s a deliberate and intentional business strategy that must be practiced and reinforced daily.

Leaders use the wrong metrics

Growing quarterly earnings, CSR programs and philanthropy do not satisfy the trust imperative.

Leaders treat trust as a “soft skill”

Organizational trustworthiness is a hard currency as shown in the chart above.

Leaders are “trust reactive” 

Rarely do we hear proactive leadership discussions of trust. Instead, trust becomes a talking point after a breach. How often have we heard the battle cry “We must rebuild trust!” (Problem is it’s hard to rebuild something that never existed.)

Leaders delegate trust

Trust is not a function of legal, compliance, HR, communications, or any other department. Maintaining a high trust organization is the responsibility of the Board of Directors and executive leadership.

If you’ve gotten this far, you may want to click on Alison Taylor’s recent piece in the Harvard Business Review “5 Signs Your Organization Might be Headed for an Ethics Scandal.” Thanks for the inspiration Alison!

In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, a comprehensive unbiased barometer of the corporate integrity of America’s largest 2000 US public companies. The Framework identifies companies whose leadership is going beyond doing just what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. The FACTS® Framework is the most comprehensive and data driven ongoing study on this subject. We analyze companies quarterly and rank order showing trends by company, sector and market capitalization. Read more about the Framework at this link.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

 

Copyright © 2017 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
21

 

Winter has officially arrived and many of us will be traveling. We tend to blindly trust the various companies that we book to get us from point A to point B, and who host us once we arrive. What do the Trust Across America FACTS ® Framework rankings have to tell us about those in whom we place our trust this holiday season?

The following data compares the Trust scores for ten well-known travel and holiday-related companies, from the highest to the lowest. *See below the rankings for a detailed explanation of the displayed data.

Book with companies that work hard to ensure they are meeting the needs of not only their shareholders, but also their customers and see how your experience compares with your family, friends and business colleagues.

Have a happy holiday season!

 

*The chart above displays only companies in the Russell 1000 Index that have “above average rankings in their industry. Companies that are below “average” have been omitted. Scores are updated annually.
**No company is perfect. It is unusual for any company to score about an 80% in our rankings.

 

In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, a comprehensive unbiased barometer of the corporate integrity of America’s largest 2000 US public companies. The Framework identifies companies whose leadership is going beyond doing just what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. The FACTS® Framework is the most comprehensive and data driven ongoing study on this subject. We analyze companies quarterly and rank order showing trends by company, sector and market capitalization. Read more about the Framework at this link.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

 

Copyright © 2017 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
17

Photo above courtesy of www.ceotoceo.com

Every year about this time, the news “treats us” to the top corporate reputation failures, and 2017 is certainly no exception. I think it’s safe to say that the “buck stopped” on the CEO’s desk at Wells Fargo, United Airlines and Equifax, to name just a few leadership fails this year.

While bad news continues to sell, not all is gloom and doom. When I launched Trust Across America-Trust Around the World almost ten years ago, one of our objectives was to redirect attention to the “good.” Great corporate leaders are plentiful, but their stories often get buried amongst all the bad news.

The list below is not about philanthropy or CSR, but rather a long-term holistic embrace of trustworthy leadership and the resulting impact on ALL stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Ten Great CEO “Trust” Stories for 2017

(not in any rank order)

#1 David Reiling, CEO at Sunrise Banks talks about community enrichment, innovation and its impact on underserved consumers in banking.

#2 Basecamp CEO Jason Fried limits both meetings and work hours to ensure his employees lead well-balanced lives.

#3 Amy Hanson, CEO of Hanson Consulting encourages both teamwork and corporate transparency.

#4 Rose Marcario runs Patagonia and for her, conscious leadership has resulted in the quadrupling of profits.

#5 Fifty-year old Earth Friendly Products CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks pays her employees a minimum of $17.00 per hour.

#6 In an industry fraught with reputation disasters, Gary Kelly at Southwest Airlines not only puts customers first but insists on making flying enjoyable.

#7 Love, trust and commitment to excellence are how Mark Stefanski, CEO (for 30 years) of Third Federal Savings and Loan describes his values, while eighty percent of his associates are women.

#8 Mark Benioff at Salesforce is trying to close the gender and racial pay gap.

#9 Cathy Engelbert, Deloitte’s CEO has a 94% employee approval rating and still manages to balance work and family. (After all, family is certainly a stakeholder in the life of a CEO.)

#10 Chip Bergh, who took the helm at Levi Strauss in 2011, has created a long-term focused culture where employees feel safe to experiment… and it’s worked.

(And BTW: Chip and I share the same (Lafayette College alma mater.)

Whether male or female (count them on this list) trustworthy CEOs know that philanthropy and CSR only go so far in building high trust companies. Trustworthy CEOs practice what we call VIP Leadership (Values, Integrity & Promises kept). The CEOs mentioned on our 2017 list don’t just “talk” about stakeholder trust, they walk it. Community enrichment, focus on employees, conscious leadership, treatment of customers, protecting the environment. These are what make a great CEO.

Let’s celebrate these trustworthy leaders and the companies they run. Let’s work together to continue to build organizational trust in 2018.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

 

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright (c) 2017, Next Decade, Inc. All rights reserved.