Archive

Posts Tagged ‘C-Suite’

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep
12

Photo courtesy of trepscore.com

Are the following low trust warning signs present in your company?

  • The Board emphasizes short-term financial results over long-term value creation.
  • CEO values are unknown or unclear and never communicated.
  • The C-Suite operates in individual silos.
  • Management ignores trust as a proactive business strategy or a competitive advantage.
  • The largest departments are legal and compliance with hyper focus on risk.
  • HR is lacking a “values driven” hiring framework hindering the construction of a talented and engaged team.
  • Transparency has taken a back seat to secrecy and closed doors, and employees are always the last to “find out.”
  • Layers of bureaucracy and “rules” slow every decision to a crawl.
  • Failure is punished so passion and innovation are low or nonexistent.
  • Stakeholder activism is increasing.

What other low trust warning signs would you add?

Trust Across America has been researching and measuring the trustworthiness of the 1500 largest US public companies for almost eight years via it’s FACTS® Framework. This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing study on this subject. 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.

 

While Trust Across America continues to make the business case for trust, it remains quite common for warning signs to be overlooked or completely ignored.  Address the “trust” danger signs before distrust becomes the norm, or the next crisis comes knocking at the CEOs front door.

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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Sep
07

 


Photo courtesy of www.luckypeach.com

Question: If elevating organizational trust improves profitability, what stops senior executives from placing trust at the top of every business agenda?

Possible Answers:

  • Trust is taken for granted or overlooked
  • No silo “owns” trust so there is no budget
  • Trust is soft and intangible
  • Trust is not regulated
  • External stakeholders are not demanding trust
  • Executives believe that the business case for trust does not exist
  • Organizational trust is completely misunderstood by just about EVERYONE

I recently posed the following questions to two senior executives at Fortune 500 companies:

Question #1:  How is the level of trust in your organization?

  1. Answer from Executive #1: We have no trust issues
  2. Answer from Executive #2: We have no trust issues

Question #2: How do you know?

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

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

  1. Answer from Executive #2: Weren’t you listening during my speech? Our CSR and philanthropy programs are some of the best out there.

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

Ask almost any C-Suite executive these two questions and most likely you will get a similar answer.

 Now let’s take a deeper dive

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

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

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

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

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

Trust Across America has been researching and measuring the trustworthiness of the 1500 largest US public companies for almost eight years via it’s FACTS® Framework. This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing study on this subject. 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.

 

While Trust Across America continues to make the business case for trust, it remains quite common for perceptions of organizational trustworthiness to remain misaligned with reality. Most times, the trust “wake up call” and the residual fallout unfortunately occur AFTER a crisis, and as a direct result of a blatant abuse of stakeholder trust. Just ask Wells Fargo, Mylan and Volkswagen.

It’s a lost opportunity when business leaders wear their trust blinders while the evidence mounts not only for the business case but also the financial one.  Trust works.

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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Sep
02

Photo courtesy of psychologicalscience.org

How frayed is trust in your organization? As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to repair it before the rope snaps and a crisis occurs.

Five Trust-Building Resources for Business Leaders

  1. Read a book on building trust
  2. Purchase a DIY kit called Trust in a Box
  3. Receive cutting edge advice by joining our Alliance
  4. Read our White Paper: The State of Trust in Corporate America
  5. Hold a workshop

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
19

Photo courtesy of www.foodconnections.org

Business leaders often talk about trust, particularly after a crisis. Yet, in the majority of companies proactive initiatives to elevate trust simply don’t exist, and that’s why the crises continue unabated and repeat themselves across corporate America.

Building trust proactively requires not only a strategic plan, but full understanding and support on the part of leadership. These facts about trust represent a good starting point to elevate trust in any business.

  1. Without trust at the top, trust in the middle cannot be maintained.
  2. Trust cannot be regulated. It’s voluntary and built on vision and values, not on rules and laws.
  3. Ethics and compliance are not synonymous with trust.
  4. Hanging a corporate credo on the wall doesn’t satisfy the trust imperative.
  5. Growing quarterly earnings does not make a company trustworthy. What makes it trustworthy is meeting the needs of all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
  6. Trust cannot be owned by one corporate silo. It’s holistic and must flow down through the entire organization.
  7. Elevating trust is NOT a CSR program.
  8. The trustworthiness of public companies CAN be measured.
  9. Trust is a hard currency, not a soft skill, and it’s more profitable in the long-term.
  10. The business case for trust can be ignored by corporate leaders, but only for so long.

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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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.

 

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Jun
10

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

It’s no secret that trust is either completely ignored or taken for granted in most organizations. In fact, usually its a pattern of systemic low trust, followed by a crisis, for the word “trust” to even make its way on to the organization’s radar. And then the wrong question is asked.  How do we “rebuild” trust (even though it never existed)? What a mess.

Why is this? These are the 5 most common excuses for ignoring trust:

  1. Boards and C-Suites (in most organizations) have never considered trust as a business imperative or strategy.
  2. Organizational trust is mistaken for compliance which is confused with ethics.
  3. Organizational trust cannot be regulated. It’s voluntary.
  4. When a trust breach occurs, often the punishment doesn’t fit crime so there is little deterrent for repeating the “crime.”
  5. Trust is soft and can’t be measured. And that which can’t be measured, can’t be managed.

It’s #5 that perhaps bears the least weight. There are numerous measurements of organizational trust and trustworthiness. Trust Across America-Trust Around the World has aggregated 5 years of data proving the Return on Trust in public companies. Other global trust experts have validated assessment tools measuring the most important indicators of qualitative trust in leaders, teams, employees, etc.

Organizations choosing  to be proactive about trust must turn over the right rock to find the help they need. It doesn’t come from legal, compliance, risk, crisis management, CSR, sustainability, marketing or traditional leadership expertise. The only way to craft a trust-building strategy that “sticks” is by having the right people do it, and those are trust experts, no one else.

Taking trust for granted is like breathing…until the heart attack makes it impossible. Then the victim tries to find the best Band Aid to temporarily stop the disease when it could have been totally avoided. Leaders who choose to be proactive about trust have a huge advantage over their competitors. All the excuses in the world won’t change that.

Have you answered our June “Pulse” on Trust question? Today is the last day to vote. It will take no more than 30 seconds.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust, and runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Our annual poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Did you know we have published 3 books in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. They are yours when you join our Alliance.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

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Oct
02

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Earlier this year Dov Seidman, the founder and CEO of LRN, called for a leadership Apology Cease-fire via the NY Times Dealbook. As Dov explained,  “You need to earn back trust and change your behavior in a way that proves, without question, that you mean it.” He was speaking about authentic leadership apologies, containing specific components outlined in the article. That was in February and since then Dov has been searching for examples. He reported on his findings early in September, having identified one authentic apology back in 2008. It came from a political leader.

Last week I wrote about the “apology” offered by Home Depot’s CEO after the latest in a string of corporate data breachesHe must have missed Dov’s apology cease-fire request in February. I suppose the CEO of General Motors  and the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline did too.

The global crisis is not one of trust, but actually one of leadership. Until executives and their respective Boards or advisors learn how to build trust by incorporating it into their DNA and then placing trust on the daily docket, we will continue to hear empty apologies. Yes, culture change takes time, perhaps a year or eighteen months, and since bad behavior rarely gets punished, there is little to no incentive to alter the status quo.

The good news, industry is not destiny. There are many organizations with high trust environments. They are rewarded with increased profitability, more loyal stakeholders and long term enterprise sustainability, among other benefits.  And, most important, by building trust into their DNA, they rarely find themselves having to apologize at all.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Nominations are now being accepted for Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s 5th annual Global Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                               Coming Soon!

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

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

 

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Sep
26

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

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

Answer: No role.

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

Question #1:  How is trust in your organization?

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

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

Question #2: How do you know?

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

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

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

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

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

Now let’s take a deeper dive

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

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

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

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

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

The Costs of Low Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Deutsche Bank:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

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

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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