Archive

Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

May
30

(Source: G.Palazzo, F. Krings, Journal of Business Ethics, 2011).

 

Many models of (un)ethical decision making assume that people decide rationally and are in principle able to evaluate their decisions from a moral point of view. However, people might behave unethically without being aware of it. They are ethically blind.

 

As organizations are comprised of individuals, Ethical Blindness naturally extends into the workplace. Some business sectors appear to be more ethically blind than others, and this creates enormous enterprise risk. This chart shows the trustworthiness of the major sectors for the Russell 1000 companies based on Trust Across America’s FACTS(R) Framework.

 

Ethical blindness can be corrected if leaders choose to be “tuned in” to the warning signs described below:

  • The Board of Directors does not have established long-term policies or procedures in place to elevate ethical and trustworthy behavior with their internal and external stakeholders. For more information see the Spring Issue of Trust Magazine.
  • Leaders, unless they are ethically “aware” by nature, are not proactive about elevating trust or ethics as there is no mandate to do so. When a crisis occurs, the “fix” follows a common “external facing” script involving a costly and unnecessary PR campaign. Wells Fargo’s latest “building trust” television commercial provides a timely example. Meanwhile internally, it’s “business as usual.”
  • Discussions of short term gains and cost cutting dominate most group meetings. The pressure to perform is intense and the language used is very strong.
  • The Legal and Compliance departments are large and growing faster than any other function.
  • The organizational culture is a mystery. No clear “ownership” of ethical or trustworthy business practices or decision-making exist. Think “hot potato.”
  • Discussions/training on ethics and trust rarely occur and when they do, they are lead by either the compliance or legal department and focus on rules, not ethics and trust.
  • Ethical considerations/testing are not part of the hiring process and fear is widespread among employees.

Is Ethical Blindness at the organizational level fixable? Absolutely. But the first order of business requires leadership acknowledgement and commitment to elevating organizational trust and ethics.

These 12 Principles called TAP, were developed over the course of a year by a group of ethics and trust experts who comprise our Trust Alliance. They should serve as a great starting place for not only a discussion but a clear roadmap to eradicating Ethical Blindness. As a recent TAP commenter said:

An environment /culture that operates within this ethos sounds an awesome place to me , I would work there tomorrow if I knew where to look for it. 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey and many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, and is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine. 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. For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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May
10

 

Elevating organizational trust becomes simple once leadership acknowledges the business case. That case has been made repeatedly by many organizations, including ours. Last month we introduced our TAP Principles through the Million Taps Campaign. Each of the 12 statements is designed to open the trust discussion among teams of any size in any organization. (TAP is currently available in 5 languages, with more being added.)

And if you are a leader who wants to build trust into your organization’s 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?

Elevating organizational trust is not difficult. It begins with awareness, acknowledgement of the long-term benefits and a daily commitment to do so.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey and many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, and is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine. 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) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
26

Last week the spring issue of TRUST! Magazine was published by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW). This special 10th anniversary issue, coauthored with Bob Vanourek, a former corporate CEO and cofounder of Triple Crown Leadership is called Building Trustworthy Organizations: The Role of Good Governance. Having polled almost two dozen lead directors, Board members and governance experts, Bob and I asked three survey questions. The first two were:

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? 

The third question was:

What are some suggestions you have for improved corporate governance in the future? 

While the magazine contains literally dozens of responses and ideas, the following are ten recommendations regarding the Board in general:

  1. “Understanding and practicing good governance is not a skill set listed when looking for candidates to nominate for election to a board—it is important that good education is provided for new and current directors on the tenets of good governance which are publicized by the company.”
  2. “Good governance is enhanced with high levels of trust among board members, good communications between directors and senior management, a solid internal auditing function, and a reliance on competent outside counsel.”
  3. “Greater gender, ethnic, age and geographic diversity.”
  4. “Define ‘cognitive diversity’ and integrate it into the board search process.”
  5. “Fewer sitting CEOs as directors and limitations on how many boards their own CEO may sit on.”
  6. “A board that is deeply engaged with each other, the CEO, and leadership team.”
  7. “Yearly review by the board of recommendations from the various stakeholders for changes and additions to governance policies and procedures.”
  8. “Closer attention to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). In 2017, ExxonMobil faced a 62 per cent proxy vote for stronger climate change disclosure. Expect ESG to become a standard proxy concern for major shareholder groups.”
  9. “Ensuring a constructive, trustworthy tone at the top among board members and senior management, personally modeling appropriate behavior.”
  10. “Strive to lead in the spirit of trust to make things better now and for the future. Their goal is to leave the organization better than when they found it.”

Building trustworthy organizations is, indeed, an essential element of good corporate governance. As one of our wise respondents said of board members,

“As stewards, they strive to lead in the spirit of trust

to make things better now and for the future.

Their goal is to leave the organization

better than when they found it.”

 

Last week we also introduced TAP, our Trust Alliance Principles. They are available (in 5 languages) by tapping the button on our home page or to the right of this blog.

We hope these two new resources will help organizations build trust. That has remained the mission of TAA-TAW since it’s inception 10 years ago.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey & Company, 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@trustacrossamerica.com

Follow us on Twitter @BarbaraKimmel and @TapIntoTrust

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Apr
04

 

This story starts with an increase of 30% on our monthly business phone bill for no apparent reason, and with no explanation. I set aside five minutes to call the company since this particular landline exists primarily to accommodate unsolicited robocalls, and not much more. Eighteen minutes later, I was still on the call.

Why?

  • First 2 minutes: A customer service telephone number is not displayed on Page 1 of the bill. (A number is buried on Page 4 as I was later told by Rep #2). Thank goodness for Google who popped the number right up on my screen.
  • Next 5 minutes: Listening to a recorded message and series of prompts with no way to bypass and speak directly to a rep.
  • Next 5 minutes: Speaking to Rep #1 who advised that our “special” rate had expired and she could not extend it. When I suggested that I might discontinue the service, she asked if she should connect me to the “disconnect department.” I suggested that perhaps there was an alternative and…
  • Final 6 minutes: Speaking to Rep #2 in the “loyalty department” who reinstated the discount, but “just for 12 months.”

I don’t think I need to name all the ways this company is busting trust and loyalty under the heading of “customer service” but I did share a few thoughts with #2. She had a rebuttal for every suggestion yet asked me to stay on the line for a customer service survey.

It’s hard to believe that ANY organization still operates in this manner, yet so many do.

Approximately 50,000 employees currently work for this public company. In September 2014, the stock traded at $41.00. Today that same stock can be purchased for $16.75. Are you surprised? I’m not.

PS- The CEO, who has been in this role for over 25 years, recently announced his early retirement.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey & Company, 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@trustacrossamerica.com

Follow us on Twitter @BarbaraKimmel and @TapIntoTrust

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Feb
13

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Jan
29

 

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

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

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

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

We are presenting our honorees in five categories:

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners (8)

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners 2015-2017 (29)

Multi-year honorees (22)

CEOs of Public Companies (7)

Newcomers (25)

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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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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