Archive

Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

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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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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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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