Archive

Posts Tagged ‘trustworthy behavior’

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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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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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
12

Photo courtesy of asiasentinel.com

Have you noticed that as LinkedIn has grown, the user focus has shifted away from relationship building to individual advertising? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am rowing alone in a sea, and it’s not the Caribbean.

As a LinkedIn user, have you considered the benefits of first building trust with your connections?  After all, LinkedIn is a great way to develop relationships that may lead to new business or collaborative opportunities down the road. Under the theory that trust is built over time and in incremental steps consider adjusting your LinkedIn “strategy” using some of the following trust-building suggestions.

Connecting

  • Before accepting a new connection, take a minute to view the profile of the party who is reaching out. If there are no clear personal or professional synergies, consider passing on the invitation.
  • When accepting, send a note indicating that you have spent a few minutes reviewing the profile to get to know the new connection. Ask whether the other party had a specific reason for wanting to connect.
  • When sending an invitation, add a personal note showing some level of interest in the work of the potential new relationship.

Posting

  • First consider the usefulness to your connections of your next post. Are you posting for your benefit or for theirs? Cheap advertising isn’t always the best marketing strategy! (Same goes for posting to groups.)
  • Drop the insincere platitudes like “honored and humbled” when trumpting your minor successes. Save those words for the appropriate occasion.
  • Review your past posts. How many times do you use the words “Me, my, I?”
  • Don’t forget to acknowledge every comment on your post and also to reciprocate.

Networking

  • Periodically review connections and send a note to those who you might want to get to know better.
  • If you haven’t had any interaction beyond the first connection, never send a private message that is nothing more than an advertisement (usually an invitation to attend an event that involves paying a fee.)
  • Do not use your connections to create a mailing list. Ask for permission first.

What other suggestions do you have for building trust on LinkedIn? Please leave your comments below.

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

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

Copyright (c) 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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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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Aug
01

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It’s Week #31 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Nan Russell offers this week’s advice. Nan is both a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance.

Treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are. 

Beliefs affect actions. Do you believe most people are talented and resourceful, or most people aren’t? Most are trustworthy or most aren’t? When we act in accordance with our expectations, we enable those expectations. It’s called the Pygmalion Effect. The connection between what we expect and what we get is well documented. Behavioral scientists at the University of Zurich have confirmed experimentally that “if you trust people, you make them more trustworthy.” And, conversely, “sanctions designed to deter people from cheating actually make them cheat.”  Yet many leaders don’t realize that withholding trust reduces the exact behaviors they want and need. When you treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are, you’re likely to get the great results you seek, plus the added dividends of increased trust and engagement.

Will you choose to take this valuable advice to your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

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 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jul
25

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It’s Week #30 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Lea Brovedani offers this week’s advice. Lea is a member of our Trust Alliance.

“If you can’t do something, admit it”

Being honest and authentic has a powerful affect on people you lead. Many leaders are afraid to show they don’t know something because they believe they will be viewed as less authoritative and knowledgeable.  The opposite is true. You are in charge because you have the competency to lead but it doesn’t mean you are expected to have all of the answers. As Kouzes and Posner state, “A leader must model the way”. If you want to have your followers be honest with you, it must start with you being honest with them.

By admitting you don’t have all of the answers and are willing to learn, you allow your team to disclose areas that need to be addressed, and isn’t that a good thing? 

Will you choose to implement this valuable advice in your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

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 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jun
27

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It’s Week #26 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Robert Vanourek offers this week’s advice. Bob is both a Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance. Bob has a brand new book out called Leadership Wisdom that I highly recommend.

Have the backs of people who act for what is right.

  1. Seek those people out and tell them you appreciate their doing what’s right.
  2. Tell your colleagues you appreciate that person who acted for what’s right.
  3. Defend people who act for what’s right if they are attacked.
  4. Set an example yourself of doing what’s right to encourage others to do so as well.

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 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jun
19

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It’s Week #26 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Bart Alexander offers this week’s advice. Bart is both a Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance.

Assume good intentions.

I once worked for a leader whose adage was:  “Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.”  But do we always know when we’re getting screwed?

We often presume we know the intentions of our co-workers, competitors, advocacy groups, customers, clients, not to mention or friends and family.  Their actions and words both speak loudly to us.

So, how should we react to a rude comment, a put-down in an email, that looking down while I’m speaking to you, or that project that messes up everything I’ve been working on?  Don’t these behaviors signal bad intentions?

We react to other’s actions and words based on our own background and experiences.  But no other person on earth is just like us.  That ‘rude” comment may reflect the straight talk expected in another culture.  The “put-down” may have come from an analytical thinker who was presenting “just the facts.”  Those averted eyes may be a sign of respect.  That project may have been launched without realizing its impact on your work.

Trust depends on honest and authentic conversation, but sometimes we need to put aside our own cultural or style biases and assume good intentions.  We can react to our perceived insult or slight by being open and curious — “What did you mean by that?”  — shared without anger or judgement.  

This approach shines in negotiations.  When we’re open and curious, ask questions and listen, we learn not only the other’s position, but why they hold that position.  Mediators call this moving from position based bargaining — win or lose — to interest based negotiation — finding common interests and win-win solutions.

Of course, sometimes there are intentions and resulting actions that are, indeed, unethical or even evil.  That’s when my old bosses’ advice to watch your back may be necessary.  

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 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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