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Archive for the ‘Risk’ Category

Aug
12

A customer service representative at a major health insurance company recently told me that HIPAA prevented him from disclosing whether an application submitted for one of my children had been received by the company. I sensed he had misinterpreted HIPAA whose purpose is to safeguard medical information, but as he insisted, he was just “following the rules.” I thanked him for his time, hung up, and called back to the same department. The second customer service rep gave me the information I needed without hesitation.

Whether an employee or a customer, I’ll bet you’ve heard these statements (excuses) or used them yourself more than once.

  • I need to get approval to do (or say) that.
  • I need to clear this through compliance.
  • I need permission before you can quote me.
  • I can’t help you without approval.
  • I’m just following the rules.
  • I apologize for your frustration.

Perhaps it’s time for business leaders to take a few minutes to understand the relationship between trust and approval.

Merriam-Webster provides the following definitions of approval:

Definition #1: The belief that something or someone is good or acceptable: a good opinion of someone or something. 

Definition #2:  Permission to do something: acceptance of an idea, action, plan, etc.

Focusing now on Definition #2, how many employees are constrained by “permission” in your organization? Have you considered how this impacts:

  • Speed of innovation
  • Decision-making
  • Employee engagement
  • Cost

Every time an employee needs approval to say or do something, the “approval” process impedes the outcome. In fact, the process may be so daunting, that employees choose to take the “easy” road, never creating anything new or suggesting a novel idea;  or as in the story above, checking with someone else when they clearly do not understand the company’s daunting “rules.”

As a business leader, have you considered how your customers are impacted by the “approval process” in your organization, or how the company’s actions:

  • Waste customer AND employee time
  • Create hard feelings
  • Lower customer retention
  • Damage reputation and elevate risk
  • Raise costs

As a business leader, what if your focus shifted from “approval” or rule enforcement to elevating stakeholder trust?

The most progressive and successful CEOs and their Boards have redirected their attention to crafting long-term vision and values statements and/or Codes of Conduct, not driven by legal and compliance, but by their two most important stakeholders, their employees and their customers. (The “credo” etched into the wall at corporate headquarters does not even begin to satisfy this requirement.) The entire staff, beginning with the Board and CEO, must vow to live their values every day, and ensure that employees understand that any “values violation” will result in immediate termination. Just imagine the innovation, speed of decision-making and empowerment that would result from this cultural transformation, not to mention the ultimate cost savings and impact on profitability.

During the editing process of our book Trust Inc. I reviewed the websites of many large public companies with the goal of including an Appendix brimming over with examples of well-crafted vision statements. This became a difficult and disappointing task as the handful identified could not be included in the book without “approval” from the respective company’s legal department, which would have meant a lengthy delay of the book’s publication. Instead, I created a “work around” by eliminating the company name. What a lost opportunity for all!

If organizations spent more time building values instead of layers of legal teams and compliance departments, the word “approval” would start to look more like Merriam-Webster’s first definition:

The belief that something or someone is good or acceptable: a good opinion of someone or something. 

And “approval” would be replaced with trust.

The most progressive business leaders have joined our Trust Alliance to ensure that they never miss an opportunity to learn about elevating organizational 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 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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Aug
04

Courtesy of mmo-champion.com

Which of these companies do you think has the higher integrity culture, Coca Cola or PepsiCo?

Let’s start by defining what we mean by a high integrity culture. A high integrity culture is…

  • NOT the credo written on the wall in the corporate headquarters
  • NOT a CSR program or how philanthropic a corporation chooses to be
  • NOT solely what employees think of their organization

A high integrity culture…

Has a high integrity VISION that defines its purpose, and that vision is practiced and reinforced daily.

Has high integrity VALUES that serve not only as a guideline but as a PRACTICE for all employees. HR supports these values at all times by hiring PEOPLE who share the corporate values. In fact all silos play a role in maintaining the high integrity values.

Starbucks offers an excellent example of high integrity values:

  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
  • We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

Has high integrity LEADERSHIP who understands and meets the NEEDS of all its stakeholders, not just shareholders through its consistent practice and reinforcement of its high integrity vision and values.

So who has the higher integrity culture Coca Cola or PepsiCo?

Trust Across America has been measuring the corporate culture of public companies for over seven years through its FACTS Framework. Unlike other culture surveys that rely heavily on employee input, FACTS (an acronym) measures the quantitative indicators or dimensions of high integrity- Financial stability, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate governance, Transparency and Sustainability. And in our analysis Pepsi wins. Out of the five indicators, PepsiCo scores significantly higher in three.

While relying on employee surveys alone may be helpful in measuring culture, surveys don’t tell the full story and can be easily gamed. In fact, in the case of Coke and Pepsi, their Glassdoor reviews, for example, are almost identical.

Why should a high integrity culture matter?

In our ongoing research at Trust Across America, all signs point to high integrity cultures being more profitable. To all those companies whose leaders think culture is soft, intangible, immeasurable and/or doesn’t matter, you are ignoring the FACTS at your own risk. And perhaps that’s why Pepsi scores higher than Coke. It may boil down to Indra Nooyi’s leadership priorities.

You can read more about our Corporate Integrity Monitor findings 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.

 

 

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Jun
06

Last week Trust Across America pulled back the curtain on it’s new “Richter Scale” of Trust via our Corporate Integrity Monitor publication with this chart.

This week we’d like to show our readers the most recent FACTS Framework trust ranking for all sixteen sectors.

According to our FACTS® Framework, high integrity public companies have less risk and better long-term outperformance.”

Our quantitative, objective model measures the integrity of the largest 2000 US public companies.

 

This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing (now in its 7th year) study on corporate trustworthiness and integrity.  We analyze quarterly and rank order by company, sector and market capitalization. We are particularly interested in tracking individual companies and sector trends over time.

Our findings have previously been reported in The Harvard Business Review, Strategic Finance Magazine, The Huffington Post, Globescan Dialogue, the Trusted Advisor Blog and other publications. This release introduces a new monthly publication The Trust Across America Corporate Integrity Monitor, available to our Trust Alliance members and licensees only.

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Or by phone at (908) 310 3777

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

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Jan
10

 

A high performing trustworthy business is a great source of competitive advantage, and that is driven by the Board of Directors. The following are 12 “must follow” strategies for 2017 adapted from our book. 

 

Boards must pay attention to corporate culture. Culture is the legacy of leadership, and a healthy… Click To TweetBob Vanourek, Triple Crown Leadership

Demand management accountability for the factors that contribute to corporate character. Click To TweetRoger Bolton, President Arthur Page Society

Empower an independent chief compliance officer (CCO) to act as a strong ethical culture leader… Click To TweetDonna Boehme, Principal, Compliance Strategists

Align the business agenda with societal expectations. Build a better world as you build a better… Click To TweetDoug Conant, Conant Leadership

Understand how your stakeholders feel about you. Take surveys, monitor social media and share… Click To Tweet Linda Locke, Standing Partnership

Practice values based leadership: articulate precisely, connect frequently, role-model, sanction… Click To Tweet Charles H. Green, Trusted Advisor Associates

Develop the strategic direction for the enterprise by taking the constellation of all stakeholders… Click To Tweet. Nadine Hack, beCause Global Consulting

See the entity through the eyes of a new employee by attending a live new-employee orientation… Click To Tweet Robert Galford, Center for Leading Organizations

Boards must develop their own robust crisis plans prior to any crisis. Click To Tweet Davia Temin, Temin and Company

Build authentic conversations based on trust and exchange ideas fearlessly. Click To Tweet Alain Bolea, Business Advisors Network

The Golden Rule is the best strategy for Boards to drive C-Suite behavior. Click To Tweet Mark Chandler, Senior VP & General Counsel, Cisco

Review, discuss, share and elevate your company’s “Return on Trust.” What can be measured can be managed.  Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO Trust Across America

Get the Board on board in elevating trust in 2017! Click To Tweet. Over 50 more ideas like these are available by ordering the book.

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 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 was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International.
Copyright (c) 2017 Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Dec
04

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Measuring the integrity or trustworthiness of public companies is an ongoing research project at  Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. In fact, we now have over 7 years of increasingly “rich” data.

Take a look at this chart:

 

 

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While we are in the business of identifying “best in breed” and not in predicting the next corporate crisis, our FACTS(R) proprietary data is quite capable of doing so. Citigroup, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo… Did the lack of integrity at Wells Fargo contribute to its recent crisis? Could it have been avoided under different leadership? What do you think?

Would you like more insights like this?

Request our White Paper:  The State of Trust in Corporate America 2016

Trust Data: Public companies can review the level of trust within their organization and compare their performance to their peers.

Order our Trust Inc. book series.

2017 Trust Poster: Weekly Do’s and Don’ts to Foster Organizational Trust

Join our Trust Alliance where share our research with high integrity business leaders.

If you lead an organization, serve on a Board or in any management capacity or work with others, and you continue to ignore trust as a hard asset, you are losing out to your competitors and failing to protect your organization against a Wells Fargo crisis.

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.

 

Copyright (c)  2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Nov
01

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Five years ago tools to assess and build organizational trust were rare and difficult to locate online. Trust Across America-Trust Around the World was formed to serve as a clearinghouse for these tools and related resources.

The most progressive companies are already implementing trust as an intentional business strategy, knowing it is a competitive advantage. Leaders of organizations interested in elevating trust and proactively practicing it as a business strategy, will be interested in these links:

Trust Alliance: a group of global professionals working to elevate trust and share resources.

Trust in a Box: A “do it yourself” solution for professionals and organizations interested in elevating trust, ethics and integrity.

Trust Data: Public companies can review the level of trust within their organization and compare their performance to their peers

2017 Trust Poster: Weekly Do’s and Don’ts to Foster Organizational Trust

White Paper:  The State of Trust in Corporate America 2016

Books: An entire Reading Room dedicated to organizational trust.

TRUST! Magazine: a digital magazine, dedicated to helping leaders and organizations place trust on their strategic agenda.

If you lead an organization, serve on a Board or in any management capacity or work with others, and you continue to ignore trust as a hard asset, you are losing out to your competitors. Trust works. Give it a try.

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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Oct
16

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Executive Summary of White Paper Recently Published

by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

 

Building a trustworthy company will improve both its profitability and organizational sustainability. Supporting this statement is a growing body of evidence showing an increasing correlation between trustworthiness and superior financial performance. Our 2016 report attempts to provide content and context to place trust in the center of more business conversations, to answer the following questions and dispel the myth that integrity and trust are “soft” skills.

  • Why do trust and integrity matter?
  • Can they be measured?
  • Are they profitable?
  • Which sectors are the most trustworthy?
  • Is industry destiny?
  • What are the costs of low trust and integrity and why do they matter as hard currencies?
  • Which companies are some of the most trustworthy and why?
  • How can companies become more trustworthy?

Integrity and trust should start at the top and flow down through the organization. They are not CSR, compliance, HR or leadership “programs” but rather an intentional holistic business strategy adopted by leadership and practiced daily. Vanishing are the days of low transparency, “short termism” and maximization of shareholder value at the expense of other stakeholders.

As trust breaches continue to make the headlines across many major institutions and societies around the globe, organizations that choose integrity and trust as intentional strategies will continue to outperform their peers.

Who will find value in reading this paper?

  • Business leaders
  • Boards of Directors
  • Associations
  • Investors
  • Communications and Investor Relations
  • Corporate responsibility officers
  • Regulators
  • Politicians
  • NGOs

Please register here to request access to the full paper.

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 1500 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara also runs the world 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.

Copyright © 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Print

trustacrossamerica.com/order.shtml

 

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Sep
22

 

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If your work brings you in contact with others, and chances are it does, how much time do you, your team or your leaders spend discussing how your internal and external stakeholders perceive the company’s integrity? How much time is allocated to reinforcing the notion that strong corporate culture built on trust and integrity are business imperatives? If your answer is “little to none” you are not alone. As a former CEO told me, most leaders are too busy putting out the day-to-day fires to think much about “soft skills” like integrity. One need only refer to the latest Wells Fargo and Mylan scandals to see what happens when culture, trust & integrity are of little importance to corporate leadership. Ironically, many of these same crises could be averted if the “soft skills” were a business imperative.Why does organizational integrity matter? Can, and should it be measured?

Why do organizational trust and integrity matter?

When the culture and core values of an organization are not only strong but also reinforced daily, and leaders keep their word, the following occurs:

  • Employees are more engaged and turnover decreases
  • Innovation increases
  • Decisions are made faster
  • The reputation “bank account” grows
  • Crises diminish
  • Profits are higher

According to a 2011 Booz & Co. study, “The Global Innovation 1000: Why Culture is Key,” companies with both highly aligned cultures and highly aligned innovation strategies have 30 percent higher enterprise value growth and 17 percent higher profit growth than companies with low degrees of alignment.

A 2013 study by Guiso, Sapienza and Zingales called “The Value of Corporate Culture” finds that proclaimed values appear irrelevant. Yet, when employees perceive top managers as trustworthy and ethical, firm’s performance is stronger.

And in the absence of strong core values…

  • Volkswagen lost 20% of its stock value after the emissions scandal and Target’s profits fell 34.3% after it’s data breach.
  • A study by Murphy, Shrieves and Tibbs called “Determinants of the Stock Price Reaction to Allegations of Corporate Misconduct” finds that allegations of misconduct are accompanied by statistically significant control-firm adjusted declines in reported earnings, increases in stock return variability, and a decline in concordance among analysts’ earnings estimates.”
  • In a 2008 study by Karpoff, Lee and Martin called “The Cost to Firm’s of Cooking the Books,” the authors find The penalties imposed on firms through the legal system average only $23.5 million per firm. The penalties imposed by the market, in contrast, are huge.

Can, and should culture, integrity & trust be measured?

Jose Tabuena recently wrote an article for Compliance Week called “To Really Improve Corporate Culture it must be Measurable.” It’s worth a read. The essence of the article is that “good measurement informs uncertain decision-making. And if you measure what matters, you make better decisions.” While corporate culture, core-values, good citizenship, ethics, integrity and trust are commonly believed to be immeasurable intangibles or soft skills, evidence like that provided above point to the fact that these are not only false beliefs, but also that the benefits of ethical cultures far outweigh the costs. Yet most leaders continue to hold fast to the “soft skills” argument because neither they nor their Boards of Directors are thinking about them, being provided with the “right” data and/or because systemic change is:

  1. Hard work
  2. Takes time and
  3. Requires an “all hands on” approach.

Much of our work at Trust Across America-Trust Around the World focuses on measuring the integrity or trust “worthiness” of pubic companies and identifying “best in breed” via a unique, holistic lens called the FACTS® Framework.

Developed by a cross-silo multidisciplinary team, and in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, the framework began to take shape by asking the same question of dozens of “siloized” professionals from leadership, compliance and ethics, legal, accounting, finance, HR, consulting, CSR, sustainability, etc. “What do you consider an indicator of corporate integrity or trust “worthiness” that can be independently and quantitatively measured without requiring the input of the organization itself? And while every professional had a different perspective, the same indicators were mentioned time and again. “In order for a company to be trust “worthy” it must display good corporate governance said the governance folks.” Similarly the financial professionals pointed to stable earnings, the accounting group talked about forensics, and so on. And by blending all of these indicators of corporate trustworthiness into a very large integrity spreadsheet, we found ourselves able to measure integrity and trustworthiness with some degree of accuracy. The master spreadsheet also makes glaringly apparent where and why the Enron-like “risk” often lays hidden in these 1500+ public companies.

Fast forward, and with eight years of unique and compelling data, the majority of companies and their leaders continue to hold on to the notion that trust is a soft and immeasurable skill, and that data from one corporate silo to the next need not be viewed as a holistic “whole body” scan. After all, it’s very hard to balance long-term value creation against the need to “maximize earnings” and meet the always-looming quarterly numbers. Better to wait until the next corporate crisis to talk about the importance of trust and how measures will be implemented (maybe) to safeguard against future missteps. Or maybe it’s time to start thinking more carefully about integrity & trust.

According to our FACTS® Framework, during the three-year period from February 2013-February 2016 America’s most trustworthy public companies substantially outperformed the S&P 500 according to the actual composite audited performance shown below and reprinted with permission of Facts Asset Management, LLC.

FACTS SP 500 Returns

This was not a “back test” but rather “live” money under management, followed by an independent audit verifying the returns. Trust works as a business strategy.

FACTS® Managed Accounts were independently audited from Feb.1, 2013-Jan.31, 2016. Prepared by FACTS Asset Management LLC. FACTS® is our model of identifying America’s Most Trustworthy Companies by applying FACTS strategy parameters. The composite results translate to 50.09% for FACTS® and 28.1% for the S&P 500 cumulative percentage return shown above, or 16.7% average annualized for FACTS® vs. 9.5% for the S&P 500 over the same period.  The audited Composite Performance results shown above may not be indicative of future results.  Full audit documents available upon request.

The composite performance records are based on all accounts managed using the FACTS strategy for a three year period, 2/1/13 to 1/31/16 and are not representative of the FACTS® Asset Management LLC program. Tax consequences are not reflected in the performance records.  Past performance is not an indication of future return.  There can be no guarantee that a new program will prove to be profitable in the future or that it will achieve performance results similar to those achieved in the past using the FACTS strategy parameters and you may lose money.  The performance numbers reflect the reinvestment of dividends.  The composite performance net of fees is calculated using a weighted average fee for the entire period because not all accounts were charged equal fees and some accounts were not charged fees. The S&P 500 is a widely recognized market value-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to mimic the overall U.S. equity market’s industry weightings, and does reflect the reinvestment of dividends. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.

FACTS® Asset Management LLC is a New Jersey registered Registered Investment Advisor. Prepared by FACTS Asset Management LLC

 

While no company is perfect, a growing group of visionary leaders have struck that balance and are reaping the rewards shown in the chart above. Over the years our FACTS® Framework has identified many high integrity companies who share above average scores across all measurable indicators of trust “worthiness” and a leadership vision that embraces the new strategic business imperative of elevating integrity & trust.

Leaders that measure what matters, including trust, DO make better decisions and over time they are rewarded with lower risk and higher profitability.

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 1500 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. Barbara also runs the world 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.

 

Copyright © 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
30

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Organizations and their leaders often find themselves caught in “trust and ethics traps.”

Jes Staley the newly appointed American CEO of the beleaguered British Barclays Bank is one such leader. In fact, as he recently announced in this BBC News Article “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.”

Eerily, Staley’s comments have a familiar ring. In the wake of the Libor scandal in 2012 the Bank’s new CEO, an insider named Antony Jenkins also spoke extensively about rebuilding trust. Yet in an all too common response when faced with a crisis of trust and ethics, the Board Chair John McFarlane recently passed blame to regulators for picking on the bank.

We asked our Trust Alliance members to weigh in on the steps Barclays new CEO should take to build trust and ethics, carrying on the legacy of his predecessor.

Leadership Momentum’s Elizabeth Doty emphasizes the importance of building on the company’s new purpose and values, by making clearer, stronger commitments to stakeholders:

Though outsiders can never know a company’s internal reality, Mr. Staley’s comments show that he recognizes that trust is earned by being trustworthy. It is also positive that Mr. Staley’s predecessor, Mr. Jenkins, clarified the company’s purpose and values, and outlined specific behaviors, such as “I honour my commitments.” Still, given the turmoil of repeated leadership changes and reorganization, Mr. Staley and his team are likely to face serious credibility challenges, regardless of their intent.

The purpose of a commitment is to reduce others’ uncertainty, so they feel less risk in trusting us. Making and keeping meaningful commitments is a powerful way to proactively demonstrate trustworthiness. Yet, despite Barclay’s clarification of its purpose and values, stakeholders are still left with their primary uncertainty: How will you make tradeoffs under pressure? “I see nothing to indicate rates and markets will not be rigged again in future or that schemes to enhance bank profits at customers’ expense…could not repeat,” posted one commenter. One solution is to make clearer, stronger commitments specifically related to the side-stepping stakeholders worry about. For example, Barclay’s could commit to doing whatever most contributes to a customer’s goals, or to a level playing field in the market. Though it takes courage, companies that put such a stake in the ground and learn how to deliver a) increase credibility by showing they understand stakeholders’ true risks, b) reduce the potential for mixed messages to staff, c) force themselves to innovate, and d) differentiate themselves in a way that is extremely difficult to emulate. The key will be not to underestimate the challenges of re-shaping their culture to get there.

Davia Temin, a leading reputation and crisis response consultant speaks of the trust challenges continuing to plague most of the largest global financial institutions years after the 2008 financial meltdown.

Rebuilding trust in financial institutions is a complex algorithm that can test the skills of the best financial engineering “rocket scientist.”  

Far from simply making a pronouncement of one’s intent (although that can be the first step), the organization needs to first deconstruct all the elements that went into building trust in their particular firm in the first place, analyze all the things that went wrong, and then construct a plan to overcorrect the breaches. Because simply fixing them will not rebuild trust, it will only, maybe, stop the erosion. 

But this is seriously hard work. Barclays, as most banks, has a number of critical audiences, each of whom needs a different set of fixes in order to begin to restore their trust. And some of those fixes are in direct conflict with others. Individual customers, shareholders, institutional clients, counterparties, regulators and legislators in every country in which they operate, and even the public at large must each feel that the bank puts THEIR INTERESTS in front of its own. Because it has been the self-dealing aspect of financial institutions’ behavior that did the most damage to their reputations and caused the greatest loss of trust.   

So, to rebuild trust, Barclays and others will need to show their audiences that the bank puts them first…and that’s a hard thing to do and remain profitable. But it is almost impossible to make such a promise and then ignore it, or to fail in its announced attempt. So, now that Mr. Staley has thrown down the gauntlet, perhaps he can get his financial product rocket scientists to reverse-engineer all the elements that went into the losing of public trust, share them with us all, and then announce how he will redress them, one by one. That, indeed, just might work, and would be my prescription.”

And finally Bob Whipple of Leadergrow reminds us where trust starts in all institutions.

It sounds like a lot of problems have been swept under the rug for some time and are impacting all facets of Barclays. I applaud the resolve to rebuild trust in the bank and the candor at admitting the many unpopular steps it will take.  My advice is to recognize that rebuilding a culture starts at the top and works its way down the organization.  Establish an understanding that it is safe for people to tell you the things that are hard to say. Do not punish people when they bring up issues that are uncomfortable or difficult to address.    

Similar to Barclays many organizations find themselves in trust traps because they hold on to the notion that trust and ethics are “soft skills.”

And because trust is ignored or taken for granted, its decline continues across all major institutions. Some of the warning signs of low trust include:

  • Disengaged boards with minimal diversity- not only must the board be “on board” with the mission and vision of the organization but research, including our own points to a correlation between high trust organizations and gender diversity.
  • Frequent crises- identifying core values, practicing and reinforcing them daily heads off many “would be” crises. Leaders who view trust as “soft” often find themselves spending the majority of their time putting out fires instead of improving their culture.
  • Short-term profit maximization at all costs including layoffs and job cuts as a first line of defense- it’s not unusual for companies like Barclays to think the bleeding can be stopped by cutting jobs and divisions, but these are simply bandages and they never cure diseases.
  • Decreasing CEO tenure and increasing compensation packages tied to quarterly earnings- try tying CEO compensation to some point in the future (3-5 years) and suddenly the focus changes from the short to the long term.
  • Increasing regulation (and scrutiny from regulators) and larger legal and compliance departments- as we have discussed in the past, trust simply can’t be regulated. It’s voluntary.

Fortunately the most progressive organizations have begun to recognize the strategic advantages of a high trust culture.

  • Fewer crises and the ability to recover more rapidly
  • A large trust “bank account”
  • Faster decision making and improved execution
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Higher customer loyalty and retention
  • Greater innovation (high trust fuels high innovation, not the other way around)
  • Increased long-term profitability

The trust and ethics crisis at Barclays will not end until insiders, beginning at the Board level, not only accept blame and take responsibility, but also put actionable measures in place to clean up the culture. Will Jes Staley be the CEO who turns Barclays around? Will he walk the trust he is talking? What do you think?

Tuning in to Trust & Ethics is a new monthly column of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s Trust Alliance compiled by Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Another version of this article first appeared on the FCPA Blog.

Part I: bit.ly/1Mp9LO7

Part II: bit.ly/1UcHiTJ

Copyright (c)  2016 Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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Feb
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It’s Week #9 of 2016. This is our latest article in a series of  ideas to elevate trust in your organization, 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

Bill George one of our 2016 Top Thought Leaders in Trust, and a Lifetime Achievement Award winner offers this:

“Encourage risk-taking and celebrate “good failures” as opportunities to learn and move forward.”

Think of the most challenging moment in your life. Perhaps it was a time when a loved one passed away, or you had a personal health crisis. Whatever it was, it was a period of crisis for you — but also a moment that caused you to reflect deeply on who you are and what is truly important in your life.

Risk-taking helps us bump into these moments. Often, people avoid risks because they fear failure. But, failing doesn’t mean “you’re a failure” unless you allow it to. The best leaders reflect on their mistakes and learn from them. What separates people who learn from their mistakes from people who don’t? It’s all about their mindset.

In my HBS class “Authentic Leadership Development,” one of the survivors of the famous 1972 plane crash speaks about the importance of reframing failure. He shares the metaphor of the oyster pearl. When sand grates against the oyster, its natural reaction is to cover up the irritant to protect itself with a substance called nacre (mother-of-pearl), which eventually forms the pearl itself.

Celebrating “good failures” helps us turn difficult moments into pearls and builds trust. At IBM in the 1960s, an employee made a mistake that cost the company $10 million. When the employee spoke to the CEO, Tom Watson Sr., he expected to be fired. Watson replied, “Are you serious? We just spent $10 million educating you!” Acts like these help your team learn from their mistakes. Even more important, they make others feel comfortable taking risks.

With all of life’s uncertainties, we need to accept what life brings us and to use each experience as an opportunity for personal growth. If we do, we’ll encourage positive risk-taking. As Sven-Goran Eriksson put it, “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

Thank you Bill. We hope our readers heed your advice.

It’s not too late to catch up on our weekly series…..

Week #1 Kouzes & Posner 

Week #2 Bob Vanourek

Week #3 Barbara Kimmel

Week #4 Mark Fernandes

Week #5 Doug Conant

Week #6 Roger Steare

Week #7 Nan Russell

Week #8 Stephen M.R. Covey

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 sixth 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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