Archive

Posts Tagged ‘organizational trust’

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
24

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World continues to reach new milestones in its mission to help organizations build trust.

Last week we:

  1. Began our 10th anniversary celebration
  2. Released the spring issue of TRUST! Magazine whose title is Building Trustworthy Organizations: The Role of Good Governance
  3. Commenced a movement called TAP INTO TRUST, a set of global Principles to help organizations of any size elevate stakeholder trust.

None of these initiatives would have been possible without collaboration. As our Trust Alliance grows, our members are working side by side to elevate trust in organizations around the world.

If you lead an organization this document will provide the framework to begin the process of elevating 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. 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
18

Organizations are being challenged to become more trustworthy. We often hear about trust in the context of rebuilding it after a crisis. But to maintain long-term, positive stakeholder relationships, leaders must make trust an intentional organizational imperative.

According to Barbara Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, “In order to effect change, trust can no longer be taken for granted. It is not a “soft skill” but rather a proactive intentional business strategy. Leaders must become trust “activists.” Those who choose to take a reactive approach are creating unnecessary enterprise risk.

How does the trust dialogue begin?

Prepared in collaboration with the Trust Alliance, the world’s largest group of trust scholars and practitioners, the Trust Alliance Principles (TAP) can be applied and practiced in any organization of any size. By adopting TAP, trust is built one person, team, project and organization at a time.

Take a look at these twelve words. They form the TAP INTO TRUST acronym. Each one of them can stand alone as a starting place to elevate trust in any size group in any organization anywhere.

For more information on TAP and the Principle behind each word, click on the “TAP INTO TRUST” blue button to the right.

Access our press release announcing this new program at this link.

Copyright 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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Mar
27

 

Next month Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW) begins its 10th anniversary celebration. As the largest global community focused exclusively on helping organizations build trust, we plan to introduce several new programs during the coming year.

Twelve Trust Alliance members have recently been named to serve a one-year term on our inaugural Trust Council. The diverse Council members have brought their unique expertise  over the past ten years in assisting TAA-TAW in the development and execution of new programs and tools to elevate organizational trust.

Presented alphabetically they are:

Bart Alexander

Art Barter

Donna Boehme

Alain Bolea

Randy Conley

Stephen M.R. Covey

Charles H. Green

Deb Krizmanich

Holly Latty-Mann

Linda Fisher Thornton

Bob Vanourek

Bob Whipple

You can read more about the Council and its members at this link.

I have enormous gratitude to this group who have individually and collectively helped make TAA-TAW what it is today. I look forward to their input and guidance as we continue to develop new tools and programs in the future to continue to help organizations build trust.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Cofounder

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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Mar
25

 

Did Mark Zuckerberg breach trust? 

Facebook won the “breach of trust award” last week, but was it justified?

If you are a Facebook user, have you read the company’s data policy? Perhaps doing so would have elevated your awareness of the risks involved in using this popular social media tool.

Have you ever taken one of those free “silly” Facebook quizzes? Did you think they were being provided for your amusement, especially in cases where the user was paid to complete it?

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post raised the following points?

Those who enter the ecosystem of social networking should not suddenly be shocked that information is being shared.

This transfer of data to a third party (Cambridge Analytica) broke Facebook’s internal policies. In 2015, Facebook found out, removed the app and demanded the data be destroyed. 

However, users must be realistic. Social media platforms are in business to share. Anyone who spends time browsing online will soon discover hidden sinews that connect each click.

The Washington Post article can be read at this link.

I’m all for elevating trust and the first to admit that this example has me thinking twice. Did Facebook make mistakes by not ensuring that the data was destroyed. Yes. But perhaps this was as much a learning experience for Mark Zuckerberg as it was for Facebook users. After all, no company (or leader) is perfect. Understanding the risks, maybe too much trust was extended by Facebook’s users.

Did Zuckerberg breach trust? What do you think?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. 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

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Mar
22

 

Our ongoing research at Trust Across America points in the direction that over time trustworthy public companies outperform their peers and the “markets.” This relatively small universe of well-governed companies goes beyond just meeting the needs of its shareholders to recognizing the importance of all its stakeholders.

Why Does this Make Sense?

Based on numerous studies high levels of trustworthiness are correlated with:

  • Ethical leadership
  • Happy employees and lower turnover
  • Faster decision-making
  • Higher innovation
  • Better community engagement
  • Decreased risk of corporate crisis

to name just a few benefits. And all of these factors impact the long-term bottom line.

Every year since 2012 Trust Across America has publicly announced its “Top Ten Most Trustworthy Public Companies” via an annual article on our blog. The following table displays the current cumulative returns of the companies selected each year vs. the S&P 500 since the date of the blog publication.

FACTS(R) Framework Annual Returns “Top Ten”

 

Note: FANG companies have never appeared in any of the “Top 10” selections.

 

How are these Companies Chosen?

In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, a comprehensive unbiased barometer of the trustworthiness of America’s largest 2000 US public companies. The Framework (based on 5 equally weighted indicators) identifies companies whose leadership has intentionally chosen to govern in a manner that goes beyond doing just what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. Now in its 8th year 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.

Whether one calls this great culture, high integrity “ESG,” or simply trust, the business case has been made. Leaders who choose to ignore trust are setting themselves up for not only a crisis, but a sudden decline in their stock value. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.

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

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
07

 

At Trust Across America-Trust Around the World we remain steadfast in our belief that trust is not a soft skill, nor should it be taken for granted. It is a tangible asset that impacts the bottom line.

Many of our colleagues believe that trust is a top down function, starting at the Board and flowing down through the organization. This means that both the Board and C-Suite must be trustworthy in order for their stakeholders to trust them.

We asked our Trust Alliance members and Top Thought Leaders to weigh in and the following are some “best practices” for elevating trust on both the Board and in the C-Suite.

 

To earn trust, an enterprise must have a strong corporate character – the unique differentiating identity that expresses its essence. Boards should be focused on – and demand management accountability for – the factors that contribute to corporate character. They include mission, purpose, values, culture, strategy, business model and brand.

Roger Bolton is the president of the Arthur W. Page Society

 

In order to ensure your corporate viability over time, and to effectively build trust with all stakeholders, it is crucial that strong alignment exists between your business agenda and societal expectations.  As captured in the popular line from Fiddler on the Roof, “on the other hand, there is no other hand” – running your enterprise in the face of societal expectations just won’t cut it.  Not anymore.  

Douglas Conant is the Founder & CEO of Conant Leadership

 

Just handling problems as they arise isn’t enough. The Conference Board calls for being proactive about business integrity and compliance critical for senior management, and even more so for boards of directors. If we manage corporate integrity based on reacting to problems, by the time we react, the problems are usually very difficult to manage. Being proactive about corporate integrity keeps CEOs and Boards focused on prevention and not cleanup.

Linda Fisher Thornton is CEO of Leading in Context LLC

 

We’ve all seen the press release. It goes something like this:

“We regret that the actions of a single rogue employee, Mr. BadGuy, were contrary to the values of this company. Our long ­established principles of integrity, honesty, truth, motherhood, and apple pie have been offended by the scandalous acts of Mr. BadGuy. We condemn the actions of Mr. BadGuy. Mr. BadGuy has left the building.”

In reality, the Rogue Employee excuse serves as an enabler, allowing Boards and CEOs to avoid asking tough questions like “why did our compliance program fail to detect or prevent this misconduct?” and “what failures in our culture and by our management allowed this problem to develop?”

When trouble knocks, compliance-savvy companies should retire the Rogue Employee excuse and instead enquire more deeply within, before others compel them to do so.

Donna Boehme is Principal, Compliance Strategists

 

Kill the “evening-before” executive team or board dinner. Instead, take a small group of front-line or mid-level employees to dinner in an informal setting, without the presence of other corporate executives. People are forthcoming, thoughtful, and engaging (to say nothing of appreciative).

Sign up for those “Google Alerts” or other independent news alerts to keep abreast of what others are saying or hearing or reading about the organization.

See the entity through the eyes of a new employee, be it via sitting quietly through a live new-employee orientation or its online equivalent.

Robert Galford is a Managing Partner of the Center for Leading Organizations

 

A company that wants to build trust should listen to the public dialogue about itself and its industry, identify what drives perceptions, and share information throughout the organization to influence decision-making.

What the organization says about itself: The company’s leaders and spokespeople should articulate (authentically) the positive impact their work has on society. In times of crisis they should express empathy and commitment to resolving the situation.

People expect organizations to be savvy about the conversation going on around it. Organizations that are blind to the dialogue, and only communicate outward are unlikely to build and maintain the trust required to be a respected and trusted business in the modern world.

Linda Locke is a Senior Vice President at Standing Partnership.

 

Boards no longer merely monitor the activities of a CEO and a firm. They can and should lead certain functions for the firm from defining the desired culture to involvement in strategy development. They can be a sounding board for the CEO on the lonely, difficult decisions he or she sometimes faces, especially in a time of crisis. But this mind-flipping attitude change can only be based on the board and CEO viewing each other as trusted allies.

Bob Vanourek is a former public company CEO and the founder of Triple Crown Leadership

 

Best advice: boards must develop their own robust crisis plans prior to any crisis. They must enumerate what kinds of actions will be taken for different issues: their crisis strategies and philosophies, the speed at which they will work, and who on the board will be designated to play first string, even if — especially if — the Chair or CEO is implicated in some way. 

Reputation is becoming one of the top priorities of corporate boards. The best way to protect reputation, and trustworthiness, is to plan before any crisis hits, adjust strategies in real time to fit the specifics of a crisis, and then for the board to execute its plan fearlessly. 

Davia Temin is the CEO of Temin & Company

 

Three prevailing archetypes of board dysfunction: the ego-driven board, the polite surrender board, and the micromanaging board. The protocols for authentic conversation, which require the right conditions for trust to develop, include:

  • Sufficient information and understanding to ask the right question.
  • A safe space that protects privacy and rejects behaviors to intimidate, ridicule, or insult.
  • Enough time to thoroughly explore systemic issues without jumping to conclusions.

The real question is: How long can an organization afford an unproductive board? In a fast changing world, trust is the key to good guidance.

Alain Bolea runs Business Advisors Network

 

Look for the flavor of “we versus they” in the wording of e-mails.  Whenever senior managers are writing to each other about an upcoming BOD meeting or other interface, are the pronouns showing a schism or do they indicate mutual support?  When BOD members interact online, does the evidence show a typical frustration, like if only “we” can get “them” to do thus and so.

If you know how to read in between the lines of e-mails, the signs are easily spotted long before a face-to-face meeting.  That can lead to corrective action before polarized attitudes are entrenched.

 Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc

 

Finally, consider adding some gender diversity to your Board. Our most trustworthy public companies are doing just that, and the results speak for themselves. A closer analysis of our publicly released “Top 10” companies over six years reveals that the average percentage of women on boards is high.

Barbara Kimmel, CEO Trust Across America

Do you have any questions? Please direct them to barbara@trustacrossamerica.com.

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

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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