Archive

Archive for the ‘Behavior’ Category

Aug
07

Courtesy of mystorybook.com

Far away and just as long ago, in the land of gardens and strip malls, also known as New Jersey, a somewhat smallish “Jersey Girl” named Barbara (Barb to her high school friends) had a rather tall vision to change the world, or at least the conversation.  Barb believed that if she could get people thinking about trust, particularly in business, trust would spring eternal- similar to Jersey blueberries- and take off like a Jersey driver.

And so Barb began to knock softly on the doors of corporate America to politely inquire about trustworthy leaders and their business practices. The responses were far from what she expected to hear.

  • We are big business and don’t budget for soft stuff like trust since it doesn’t impact our bottom line.
  • The corporate credo written on the lobby wall has trust covered.
  • We are already trustworthy. After all, our quarterly earnings are growing and look how fast we are expanding globally.
  • We give to charities and have an annual CSR event.
  • Haven’t you seen our latest TV commercial on diversity?
  • We’re conserving water and energy.
  • We are looking in to cybersecurity.
  • Our compliance department “has trust covered.” We stay just on the “right side” of the law.
  • Who cares if our employees are unhappy? There are plenty to replace them.
  • And the best one, the response from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company… “Trust? Interesting, I never even thought about that word!”

Barb’s quick takeaway…the trust crisis is not the “problem” of big business (until there’s an internal crisis and then lots of money is paid to consultants to make it look like the problem is fixed when it’s not), and one person named Barb from NJ is no threat to big business! Go knock somewhere else until such time as trust is regulated.

And that’s exactly what she did, because Barb had changed her middle name from Jane to “Tenacity” right around her fifth annual 39th birthday. She knocked and knocked and did not give up until the right people started to listen, and even lend a hand. And then the idea struck (sort of like a lightening bolt) – if one rather small woman from NJ could get some “trust loving”, imagine how much 100 men and women, or 1000, or even a million could attract? And so she started a movement, A Campaign for Trust, and she invited everyone who didn’t slam the door to join her (except the mainstream media because they seemed perpetually stuck on bad news that sells)!

In a few months, eyebrows began to raise beyond Jersey’s borders, as did the roster of global Trust Alliance members, men and women from “big business” (the ones who didn’t slam the trust door), small business, startups academia, researchers, community leaders, government and consulting (leadership, culture, teamwork, compliance, ethics, CSR, HR, sales, reputation and crisis repair, communications, risk, data security, governance, sustainability.) They weren’t exactly sure what “signing up” meant, but they trusted Barb enough to know they wanted to be part of this particular movement, because without trust, organizations are at best mediocre, never knowing when the next crisis will strike.

The Trust Alliance has been quite busy over the past four+ years with dozens of projects including:

  1. Roundtable discussions with industry leaders on building trust
  2. Publication of three books in our Trust Inc. series
  3. Introductions between members resulting in speaking engagements, consulting opportunities and new business relationships
  4. An annual trust poster
  5. Publication of a collaborative digital magazine called TRUST!
  6. Assembly of DIY Trust Boxes
  7. Real world case studies called Trustlets

And many more initiatives including two new programs launching this fall. After all, it’s hard to imagine why any organization (even one run by a small, perpetually 39 year old woman from NJ) wouldn’t want to join us and collaboratively help in elevating organizational trust. So what’s holding you back? Feel free to use one of the excuses listed above!

(And by the way, on most days Trust Across America’s website attracts between 500-1000 enlightened visitors who “get” the importance of organizational trust.)

PS- One of Barb’s offspring cautions about trying to be funny about trust. It’s a serious subject. Barb disagrees. She thinks trust can be funny and fun, and serious too! What do you think?

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

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jul
29

Photo courtesy of Ratemds.com

Would you visit a shoe store without giving the salesperson your shoe size, color or the style you are seeking and expect to leave with shoes that fit properly and meet your needs?

At Trust Across America we often receive the following inquiry:

Do you have a questionnaire or a tool, to detect the level of trust in an organization? Click To Tweet

And every time, I respond with “What are you trying to measure or detect?”

Similar to shoes, trust is not a “one size fits all” proposition. These are just a sampling of the trust assessment choices available to organizations, and most have their own tool and/or assessment mechanism:

In most organizations trust is taken for granted, and maybe it’s because of the mistaken belief that “one size DOES fit all.” After all, most leaders think:

  • Trust is intangible
  • Trust can be taken for granted
  • Trust has no impact on the bottom line.

And perhaps the greatest obstacle to trust…. many leaders have never thought about the word “trust” or considered how it might impact business success. We hope these tools will help change that mindset.

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.

 

 

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Apr
12

 

Trust Across America’s focus has always been on finding and highlighting the “best in breed” corporate citizens while leaving the worst for the scrutiny of others. But today is only Wednesday and my inbox is swamped with so many trust busting stories that even Lucy’s head is spinning. Here we go:

Wells Fargo is clawing back compensation to rebuild trust, or are they?

Volkswagen has found the “secret” to  rebuilding trust…. are they kidding?

Barclay’s CEO has his own strategy for trust, but it’s certainly not the “building” kind. This is the same CEO who not so long ago said “I do believe that trust is returning to our institution. But we will never rest, we are never done. We have to focus on building that trust every day.”

A  bunch of “fake activist” companies, outraged over the purported trust violations of Bill O’Reilly, pull their advertising, or do they? Thanks Jim!

And let’s not forget United, except this isn’t about customer brutality, and maybe not even about trust! It’s just ironic.

This week, instead of watching sitcoms, I’ve taken to reading the news. As an organizational trust researcher and communicator, I’m finding it not only highly educational but also wildly entertaining.

As I’ve said for many years, the ongoing trust crisis will certainly not abate until untrustworthy leaders sail off into the sunset or recognize the error of their ways and start advocating for change.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she became a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Copyright (c) 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
22

 

If you lead an organization and want to build trust into its DNA, it all begins (and ends) with you. How many of these boxes can you check?

Start with an assessment of yourself:

  • Are you trustworthy?
  • Do you possess integrity, character and values?
  • Do you share those values with your family?
  • Do you instill them in your children?
  • Do you take your personal values to work?

Perform an organizational trust audit:

Consider your internal stakeholders:

Consider your external stakeholders:

  • Have you shared your vision and values in building a trustworthy organization?
  • Have you identified the outcome(s) you are seeking?
  • Have you defined your intentions for each of our stakeholder groups?
  • Have you made promises that you will keep?
  • Have you determined the steps you will take to fulfill these promises?

Almost every organizational challenge can be traced back to low trust… and a leader who has not checked the boxes.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she became a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Copyright (c) 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
17

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I was recently watching a John Oliver YouTube video about televangelists whose charities are somewhat suspicious, and it got me thinking about experts, “gurus” and “influencers.” Sadly, there are plenty of phony preachers in that space too. In fact, a colleague likes to remind me that not all trust experts are trustworthy. Imagine that!

These are some first-hand examples of phony preachers:

  • The leadership “consultant” who seeks out sound bytes from those with real expertise for an upcoming paid speaking “gig.” After all, why pass up the opportunity to get paid even if it’s for a speech you are not qualified to deliver.
  • The prolific leadership “writer” whose work is never written by them or even original. Quotes lifted from famous philosophers, entire blog entries cut and pasted from the work of others. And when called out, lies about it.
  • The world “renowned” nominee who asks for a vote for “Thinkers 50,” but who freely “borrows” PowerPoint and Slideshare presentations from those with genuine expertise, and when caught redhanded, brushes it off.
  • The “character expert” who writes about plagiarism, but doesn’t bother to check (or care) whether those whose work they themselves reference is original or plagiarized.
  • The “trust guru” who forgets to say “thank you” when a good deed is done for them.

Is it any wonder that trust continues to decline across all major institutions? After all, if the advisors, coaches, thought leaders, experts and influencers are not living that which they preach (and that’s being polite,) what other outcome could possibly be expected?

But every story has a silver lining. It’s called a bell curve and like any business, even in “trust” there are some real deals. I am honored to know many of them who have been named to our annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust over the past seven years.

In the early years of this annual recognition, someone suggested that there need not be a requirement that the honorees walk their talk. Imagine that suggestion! The “real deals” are not those who are the most active on social media or who claim a (t00) long laundry list of accomplishments. Instead, they are often the voice you may not hear, and whose name you may not recognize… researchers, scholars, consultants and leaders who have put in their time, paid their dues, and have earned the privilege to speak, consult and guide others. People with real credentials who know what trust is and act accordingly.

When I was a kid, my dad liked to remind me not to allow anyone to “pull a snow job.” If you’ve never heard that expression, Merriam-Webster offers the following definition: “a strong effort to make someone believe something by saying things that are not true or sincere.

Anyone can call themselves an expert. It’s up to the “buyer” to determine if they’ve earned the right to use that title.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 Barbara was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she was named a “Fellow” of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

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Feb
07

 

Is trust in business up or down? Apparently it depends who does the asking and who is asked.Is trust in business up or down? Apparently it depends who does the asking and who is asked. Click To Tweet

Price Waterhouse (PwC) is again “talking trust” in their 20th Global CEO Survey (2017). At this time last year, I wrote an article called PwC and the World Economic Forum Talk Trust summarizing their 2016 trust “agenda” that hit the mark on many critical issues.

What happened between now and then?

According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer’s survey of global citizens, not only was there a sharp decline in trust in all four major institutions, but most people don’t find CEOs to be credible. Readers can learn more in this recent post on the FCPA Blog.

Turning to the 2017 PwC US Supplement, CEO’s worry least about access to affordable capital (10%) and most about overregulation (56%). “CEO concern” for lack of trust in business during the past year rose from 11% to 19%.  The Supplement does not define “lack of trust in business,” and even though the percentage almost doubled it remains relatively low on the list of CEO concerns. Considering the nuances of the use of the word “trust” one might ask what specific question did PwC pose to elicit this low concern response?

PwC’s survey further states that 78% of US CEOs agree that it’s harder for business to gain and keep trust. And only then does PwC add some clarification to what it means by “lack of trust in business.” According to the survey what CEOs are most concerned about when it boils down to trust is:

  1. Breaches of data privacy and ethics
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. IT outages and disruptions

What can be concluded from these surveys? Do you see the same “disconnect” that I see?

According to Edelman, the public does not find CEOs to be credible, yet PwC concludes that CEOs perceive lack of trust in business as originating primarily from external sources. It’s not from any bad behavior on their part that could ultimately impact stakeholder trust in any of the following ways:

  • Low trust in the brand by consumers
  • Low trust in leadership by employees and vice versa
  • Potential individual and institutional shareholders lacking enough trust to make investments
  • Communities not trusting the company to be “good” corporate citizens
  • CEOs not trusting in themselves to be ethical role models

Unfortunately, when it comes to building trust, most business leaders have yet to start connecting the dots. This represents not only a lost opportunity (read how high trust companies fare better), but endangers the long-term sustainability of the organization. Trust is not on CEO agendas, at least not in the way that will encourage and support organizational change and higher trust. Leaders face too many day-to-day decisions and too many fires that need extinguishing. Who has time left to consider why trust is low? Unfortunately, most CEOs don’t. And there’s a good chance that a year from now, they still won’t.

As I stated last year… leaders must:

  • Take “ownership” for their lack of credibility and the resulting low trust in business.
  • Voluntarily choose, along with their Boards, to adopt organizational trust (which extends far beyond sustainability, environmental awareness, corporate responsibility and “giving back”) as an intentional, proactive and holistic business strategy.
  • Stop thinking “short-term.”
  • Stop relying on their legal department and start doing what is right.
  • Stop “talking trust” and start walking it.

I’m not sure what it will take to reverse this cycle of mistrust in business and leadership. It’s certainly not due to a lack of resources or tools. What are your thoughts on this Tale of Two Surveys?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its eighth year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 1500 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

 

 

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Sep
13

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Leaders and their organizations must earn trust before they can build it.

Failure to earn trust leaves the enterprise vulnerable to countless risks. —

Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Trust building can be implemented through the following sequence of actions and initiatives. We call this the VIP Trust Model.

 Triangle

 

  • VISION & VALUES: Leaders identify, with input from all stakeholders, the organization’s principles or core values. Why does the organization exist and what does it stand for? Write a meaningful credo with buy-in from all silos.
  • INTEGRITY: Practice and regularly communicate the moral principles and purpose of the leadership team and the organization. Hold training for employees in leading with trust in their behaviors and interactions. Lose the “sales scripts.”
  • PROMISES & PROCESS: Ensure that leadership is held accountable for doing what they say they will do, and for regularly communicating the vision, values and promises to all stakeholders. Make this a daily function of your corporate responsibility team in collaboration with compliance and communications.

Implement ways of doing things that translate the principles above into organized group behavior. Internally this includes the hiring and training of employees, structure of meetings, transparency of/fair personnel policies, how decisions are made and accessibility to leadership. With external stakeholders (vendors, customers, community, etc.), trust can be enhanced using quantitative measurement, benchmark and screening “tools” like Trust Across America’s FACTS® Framework.

About the Author:

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2,000 U.S. public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara is also the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a New Jersey registered investment advisor.

Nominations are now open for the 7th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust.

Copyright (c)  2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Aug
01

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It’s Week #31 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Nan Russell offers this week’s advice. Nan is both a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance.

Treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are. 

Beliefs affect actions. Do you believe most people are talented and resourceful, or most people aren’t? Most are trustworthy or most aren’t? When we act in accordance with our expectations, we enable those expectations. It’s called the Pygmalion Effect. The connection between what we expect and what we get is well documented. Behavioral scientists at the University of Zurich have confirmed experimentally that “if you trust people, you make them more trustworthy.” And, conversely, “sanctions designed to deter people from cheating actually make them cheat.”  Yet many leaders don’t realize that withholding trust reduces the exact behaviors they want and need. When you treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are, you’re likely to get the great results you seek, plus the added dividends of increased trust and engagement.

Will you choose to take this valuable advice to your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jul
25

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It’s Week #30 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Lea Brovedani offers this week’s advice. Lea is a member of our Trust Alliance.

“If you can’t do something, admit it”

Being honest and authentic has a powerful affect on people you lead. Many leaders are afraid to show they don’t know something because they believe they will be viewed as less authoritative and knowledgeable.  The opposite is true. You are in charge because you have the competency to lead but it doesn’t mean you are expected to have all of the answers. As Kouzes and Posner state, “A leader must model the way”. If you want to have your followers be honest with you, it must start with you being honest with them.

By admitting you don’t have all of the answers and are willing to learn, you allow your team to disclose areas that need to be addressed, and isn’t that a good thing? 

Will you choose to implement this valuable advice in your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jul
18

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It’s Week #29 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Randy Conley offers this week’s advice. Randy is both a Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance.

Listen with the intent to be influenced.

Listening is one of the most valuable skills a leader can employ to build trust, yet it’s also one of the most under appreciated and least developed leadership competencies.

Most leaders would agree that listening is important and they even understand many of the basics, even if they don’t practice them: don’t interrupt, give the speaker your undivided attention, ask open-ended questions to draw out more information, and paraphrase occasionally to ensure understanding. These are all necessary and valuable skills.

What’s more important, however, is your mindset and attitude about listening. You should listen with the intent of being influenced. Most of us listen with an agenda. We enter a conversation with a preconceived idea of where we want the conversation to go and the desired outcome we’re trying to achieve. That signals to the other party that what they have to say really doesn’t matter much because we’ve already made up our mind about the final decision. That’s demoralizing and erodes trust with the people we lead.

Instead, listen without an agenda. Open yourself to be influenced by what the speaker has to say. Look for opportunities to incorporate their ideas and suggestions into the final outcome. Listening in this way builds trust because it communicates to the speaker that he/she is important and what they have to say is valuable and worthy of consideration. Listening with the intent to be influenced also causes us to speak less, which is the major roadblock to effective listening.

My grandpa was fond of saying that the Lord gave us one mouth and two ears and we should use them in that proportion. Listen with the intent to be influenced and watch trust blossom in your relationships.

Will you choose to implement this valuable advice in your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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