Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category


In 2018 Trust Across America-Trust Around the World celebrated its 10th anniversary. We are a collaborative social enterprise whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Highlights of our progress can be reviewed on this timeline. As our programs expanded this past year, we attracted almost 300,000 global visitors to our website and over 30,000 professionals have joined our TAP movement.

While we will always be interested in connecting with others who share our vision, we must also remain committed to the most urgent “task at hand” which is building new tools to help our community move its work forward. We are “doers” not “talkers” and “doing” requires time, energy and focus.


What does this mean going forward?


As of January 15th, we will be sharing new content and original though leadership less frequently on social media and will be deleting many of our current connections. The bulk of our efforts will be directed to those in our community who are:

  1. Members of our Trust Alliance
  2. Members of our broader network via subscription to our mailing list
  3. Have donated to our program
  4. Have actively participated in any of our recent ongoing projects
  5. Have reached out directly with something other than a sales pitch!

Click on any of the five links listed above to remain involved, or simply send me a note.

Best wishes to all for a 2019 filled with more trust, success and good health.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Cofounder, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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This post has nothing to do with trust… well almost nothing

If I were stranded on a desert island and given one food choice it would be potatoes. Fortunately I can enjoy them in my kitchen, especially during Chanukah. Nothing spells “comfort food” quite like latkes! (And the house will retain the aroma for days).

Over the years I’ve experimented with all sort of recipes and have uncovered several “must dos” for the perfect crispy latke.

The ingredients:

Potatoes, onions, eggs, salt & pepper (no flour, no baking soda)

The secrets: 

  • Combine peeled Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes (preferably organic)
  • Do not use the Cuisinart! Grate by hand with the “large side” of the box grater
  • Have a thin kitchen towel or cheesecloth available to wring out all the liquid from the grated potatoes
  • Grate onion into potatoes after step above
  • Remember the electric frying pan you received as a wedding gift? This is the one time in the year when you should use it! Set temp around 375 degrees.
  • Keep the latkes small. They fry faster, thinner and crispier.
  • I’ve been using organic Canola oil for frying. A little goes a long way and latkes are not greasy.
  • Some apple sauce and sour cream… and maybe a nice glass of wine.
  • Don’t worry about rewarming the leftovers. There won’t be any!

Have I missed any secrets? What’s yours?

Happy Chanukah! Merry Christmas!

Let’s work together to elevate trust in 2019.

And remember, actions speak louder than words.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Cofounder Trust Across America-Trust Around the World




Cultivate trust by deepening the conversation. Patricia Aburdene

(from Trust Across America’s Weekly Reflections on Trust 2014)

Today we start a new blog feature called Organizational Trust this Week, beginning with the “Good” and ending with the “Ugly.” Each story contains a trust component and at least one lesson for organizations seeking to make trust a business imperative.


Silos kill trust: Mary Barra is Breaking Down Silos to Build Trust at GM

Corporate DNA should not change when the CEO leaves: Pimco’s new CEO Doug Hodge will Remain True to the Corporate DNA 

Corporate transformations take time: Marissa Mayer remains passionate and focused on corporate transformation at Yahoo

Great leaders say these things to their employees: John Brandon discusses 17 things great leaders should say

How much influence should CEO’s have on their Boards? Interesting research from George Mason University’s Derek Horstmeyer Beyond Independence, CEO Influence and the Internal Operations of the Board



Trust is busted when fines are nothing more than a slap on the wrist: AT&T pays $105 million fine and gets to keep the rest

The big pharma industry is an ongoing trust disaster: Why exactly are prescription drugs so expensive? 

What to do when the CEO has an affair? Nothing. It doesn’t violate the company’s ethics and integrity policies!

Here’s what the same CEO has to say about company ethics.



When it comes to violations of trust, it doesn’t get much worse than the unfolding scandal at Sayreville High School in NJ: Governor Chris Christie makes a statement. But the best part is what a former NFL trainer had to say. Read the full article.



And finally, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s Most Popular Post on LinkedIn Pulse this week


Send us your stories for consideration in future editions of Organizational Trust this Week.


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

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

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                               Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.


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Today’s blog post is somewhat of a rant, but it contains a trust message. It’s about a call I received yesterday.

The conversation went something like this:

Him: Hi, it’s your buddy John Smith conference organizer. Trust Across America-Trust Around the World was kind enough to offer us a panel discussion of trust experts for our upcoming conference, but we decided to pass.

(Side Note: Several months ago this same group declined our panel of experts, but DID choose to use our idea and assemble their own panel on the topic of “trust.” The brochure description has little to do with the subject of trust itself, nor are any of the panelists experts, but hey,”trust” is a cool buzzword.)

Back to the conversation:

Him: Anyway, I have an even better offer for you. I would like you to come speak. Our speakers usually pay $10,000, but you can speak for $2500. We’ll even throw in free admission to the conference, and a dinner. And you can bring some books to sell.

Me: Huh? You want me to pay you for the “privilege” of  speaking at your event? I won’t pay to speak.

Him: Okay thanks, and take care.

Tell me you can’t pay me but don’t ask me to pay you. It’s not only insulting but speaks volumes about the “quality” of your conference. If I were an attendee, I would want to know, in advance of registering, how many of your speakers were paying to peddle their wares.

If you are a conference organizer and this is your business model, you are shooting yourself in the foot, from a quality perspective, and I’m about to tell you why.

Earlier this week I was asked to speak (without having to write out a check) at another conference next summer. I respectfully declined because I did not think I was the right person for this engagement, but offered up the names of several folks who are members of our Alliance, and who have the expertise to do an outstanding job. But first I checked in with these people to make sure they were available. Most of them wanted more information about the “quality” of the conference and the conference host. They have learned from past experience. They won’t compromise their integrity, nor will they agree to speak without a quality assurance. They certainly won’t pay.

This practice is becoming the industry “norm,” at many conferences.  Remember the expression about “getting what you pay for?” The conference organizer may be maximizing short-term profits, but they are failing to build the “right” long-term relationships. It’s what I call a long-term “lose/lose” and it certainly compromises the quality of the conference, and the reputation of the organization itself.

Too me, this business model is a trust-buster.

Enough said. What do you think?

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

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.


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Once upon a time, in the land of gardens, also known as New Jersey, a somewhat small “Jersey Girl” named Barbara (Barb to her good friends) had a rather tall vision to change the world, or at least the conversation.  Barb believed that if she could increase the dialogue around trust, particularly in business, it would spring eternal- similar to Jersey’s blueberries- and the trust crisis would subside.

And so Barb began to knock on the doors of corporate America (and businesses in lands far away) to politely inquire about trustworthy business practices. Oddly, the response was not what she expected to hear. “We are big business. We are trustworthy. We are beating our quarterly earnings and expanding globally. We give to charities. The trust crisis is not out problem. You are just one person named Barb from NJ. Go away with your “soft words.”  Go knock somewhere else.”

And so she did because Barb had changed her middle name from Jane to “Tenacity” right around the same time that she turned 39 for the third year in a row. She knocked and knocked and did not give up until the right people started to listen-and even offered to help. And then she came up with an idea- if one rather small woman from NJ could get some “trust lovin’”, imagine how much 100 men and women, or 1000, or even a million could attract? And so she started a movement- A Campaign for Trust, and she invited everyone who didn’t slam the door to join her-  (except the mainstream media because they are still stuck on bad news)!

And in a few months, eyebrows around the world began to “raise” as did the roster of alliance members, almost 200 from 13 countries and counting. Men and women from academia, consulting, the “alternative” media, and even a few from “big business” (including some CEO’s) signed up to help. They weren’t exactly sure what “signing up” meant, but they trusted Barb enough to know they wanted to be part of this particular movement- because without trust, what else really matters?

Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? Do you want to learn more about what Barb and the band of “trustnicks” are up to?

Read more about our alliance here.


PS- Barb’s teenage son cautions about trying to be funny about trust. It’s a serious subject. Barb disagrees. She thinks trust can be funny and fun, and serious too! What do you think? Email her at

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Any parent who has sat on the sidelines of a boy’s high school soccer game knows that the referee “controls” both the technical and behavioral components of the game. Sometimes the “calls” are accurate, sometimes not so much. But what happens when the referee fails to show up?

That scenario played out earlier this week in a game between two teams- one a big inner city group, and the other “smaller in stature” suburban group.

From the sideline parent’s perspective, it looked like trouble. Who could imagine these two groups facing off on a field with no referee? But since it was an “add on” to the schedule, and didn’t “count”, it was decided that the game would be played anyway.

The parent’s and coaches held their collective breath as the game began, and for the next hour, we waited for the “trouble” to start. It never did. Not only was there no trouble, but the two teams got along better than most. There was good sportsmanship and the boys were talking and laughing with each other during the game. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for the urban team, the boys shook hands, some “high-fived”,  and we all went home.

What is the moral of this story? The person in charge has the power, makes the “obvious” calls and shoulders the blame for conflict. When there is no person in charge, the obvious calls are mutually agreed on, and the not so obvious are talked out. This is a clear demonstration of the “roundtable effect” (a meeting of peers), in that nobody is above or below each other, and good decisions are easy to come by.

What are your thoughts? Drop me an email at

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While there may be a continuing and complex trust crisis in America, our research shows that there is a direct relationship between business performance and trustworthy behavior. And while a universal definition of trust may not exist, it’s not really a problem,—it’s just the way things are. We love to put precise metrics in place that describe and explain, in linear and causal terms, things like human behavior. But reality doesn’t always cooperate. And because what can’t be measured also gets overlooked, trust, which is absolutely critical in business relationships, needs measuring.

A 2008 paper written by the Economist Intelligence Unit entitled “The Role of Trust in Business Collaboration” concluded with the following statement:

“Even though best-practice corporate governance has been on the corporate radar for some time now, it seems that the trust element of governance, despite being so closely linked to ethics, has yet to become a business standard.”

We believe that many important concepts cannot be reduced to a single metric, and that is certainly true for trust. However, what can be defined and measured are various contributory components of trustworthy behavior in business—factors that we can all agree are definitely somewhere in the trust neighborhood. And when these factors are evaluated and aggregated, there are some encouraging results about companies that somehow seem to be “doing the right thing.” We may not be able to precisely measure trust; but that doesn’t mean we can’t rate it, test it, evaluate it, and above all—manage it. What we have recently done is removed the ‘yet’ out of the Economist’s description.

In 2007 we set a goal of developing a rigorous approach to better understanding and evaluating trustworthy business practices. We began laying a foundation for a trust ecosystem, and Trust Across America™ (TAA) was hatched. Through our professional relationships, LinkedIn group, and our radio show, we have spoken to dozens of academic and corporate experts and consultants across the wide range of specialized silos relating to organizational trust- ethics, integrity, reputation, ESG, CSR, accounting, and sustainability to get their feedback on this elusive concept of trust. From this collaborative effort, we have developed a methodology that we think approximates the most holistic and comprehensive definition and measurement of trustworthy corporate behavior to date. We named it FACTS™. It allows us to provide meaning, definition and measurement to both the business and behavioral side of trust.

FACTS™ is an acronym. It stands for:

Financial strength and stability
Accounting controls
Corporate governance and community impact
Treatment of Stakeholders and Transparency

We ran the FACTS model again historical public data for thousands of public companies from 1998-2009, and eliminated those that did not have complete data. In essence, our methodology analyzes hundreds of data points from three independent providers, and with equal weighting, arrives at a cumulative FACTS™ trust score for almost 2000 of the largest publicly traded companies. Currently, thirty nine companies reach the Gold Standard of 50 points or more in each of the FACTS data categories.

Some other noteworthy findings from this study:

•The company with the highest trust ranking (across sixteen sectors) is in the same industry as BP Global. We find this somewhat timely since it is a goal of TAA to have the most trustworthy companies share their best practices.

•The companies with the highest scores in all data categories come from six different industry groups, so no single industry dominates in the “trust” category.

•The retail sector has the highest average trust rating of the sixteen.

•When we rank the 1954 companies, the top 10% are almost evenly split between large and small (over and under $2 billion market cap).

•Only two hundred companies in the database scored above a “50” in sustainability efforts.

Over the next few weeks we will be populating the Trust Across America website Link to Website with the following material:

-An alphabetical listing of the names of all 1954 companies for which we have complete data.
-An alphabetical listing of the top 10% of all companies.
-Company specific and industry reports that will allow C-Suite executives to anticipate “surprises”, manage risk, and better protect their company’s reputation; provide a workable framework for enhancing organizational trust and reputation; and provide meaning, definition and measurement to both the business and behavioral side of trust..
-Reports for consumers and other professionals.
-Additional resources for public companies that wish to delve deeper into internal and external behavioral assessments.

We will also begin conversations with the media (both print and broadcast) about our findings and will start to contact some of the top companies for interviews and further involvement. Our mission is to highlight companies that are “doing the right thing”, refocus media attention away from the negative, and provide opportunities for companies to share best practices.

I look forward to your comments and feedback. The best initial method to communicate is via email:

Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director Read more…

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A close family member likes to remind me that “Slow and steady wins the race”…as long as you are heading in the right direction. Our VISION is slowly and steadily reaching its lofty goal as our trust ecosystem continues to expand, and collaboratively we elevate the discussion and develop solutions for building a more trustworthy world.

Over the past month we have spent much of our time finalizing our study on trustworthy business practices in public companies. Look for a major announcement in August and a special newsletter explaining our methodology and some of our observations.

Our core programs continue to grow:

• Our LinkedIn Group called Trust Across America launched in mid-April. It’s a place for discussion, dialogue and debate on trustworthy behavior in business. Most of our members are thought leaders from academia, consulting and corporate America in the fields of ethics, trust, reputation, leadership, integrity, CSR, ESG, sustainability and impact investing. If you have not already done so, please join the group and take a minute to introduce yourself. Please invite a professional colleague to join the group as well.

The Trust Across America Blog for July includes interviews with Brian Moriarty from the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics; Jeffrey Seglin, the NY Times Ethics Columnist; Karen Mishra, a Michigan State Professor who, along with her husband Aneil, has spent the past twenty years studying trust; and Tony Simons a leadership and management professor at Cornell, and an expert in business trust and integrity. I also wrote a few pieces on how companies can damage their reputation through poor marketing and customer service, and you can follow my fender bender saga navigating the auto insurance industry. Our blog index has grown to almost forty covering trustworthy behavior in business from various viewpoints including ethics, trust, reputation, integrity, sustainability, ESG, CSR and leadership. Click on link

Trust Across America Radio Show: We had a surprise visit from Jeffrey Hollender of Seventh Generation on July 21. We continue to be honored by the outstanding thought leaders who have appeared, and will be appearing on the show. All past shows are archived, so you can listen at your convenience: Click on Show Link
Our guests for the month of August, all leading experts in various aspects of organizational trustworthiness, include: (August 4) Steve Farber, the President of Extreme Leadership and author of Greater than Yourself; Paula Marshall the CEO of Bama Companies, a Malcolm Baldrige Award Winner and author of Finding the Soul of Big Business; (August 11) Fran Maier, the founder of and the President of TRUSTe that currently certifies the privacy practices of over 3,000 websites; Traci Fenton, the Founder and CEO of WorldBlu, Inc., whose mission is championing the growth of democratic companies worldwide. WorldBlu publishes the annual WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces™; (August 18) Bob Schoultz, Director of the Master of Science Program in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego; Art Stewart, a consultant, educator, and purveyor of a strategic framework – the ‘New Responsibility Paradigm’; (August 25) Nick Andrews, Managing Director North America for the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence; and Karen Mishra, a clinical professor in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Karen’s research focuses on how organizations build trust with employees through internal communication.

Consultant’s Collaborative Our Consultant’s Collaborative is growing. It is another opportunity for experts to highlight and share their knowledge with visitors to our site, as well as serving as a centralized internal and external resource for consulting, media and program referrals. We hope to expand the Collaborative to include professionals with expertise in Organizational Trust, Leadership, Ethics, Integrity, Reputation, Accountability, Sustainability, CSR, ESG, Governance/GRC and Impact Investing. Special programs are being developed for those who participate through enhanced listings. Click for Consultants Page

Reading Room Looking for a book on organizational trust? Our Reading Room should be your first stop. Books are written by experts from corporate America, academia and consulting. We added several new titles for August. Click Here to Go to the Reading Room

We hope you will choose to get involved and stay involved in some of the following ways. Trust Across America is a collaborative effort. We cannot do this alone.

• Join our Linkedin group called Trust Across America. We have also started a group on Facebook by the same name but have not quite figured out what we will do with it!

• Be a guest on our radio show.Refer a colleague to appear on the show. Please have them send an email to with their expertise and contact information.

• Link your blog to our site – Follow the format on the existing blogs at the link below and send it back in an email-we will add your blog within a few days.

• Be listed in the Consultants Collaborative- Please email me for more information on various listing options. (

• Suggest a book for our Reading Room

• Collaborate in some way we have not yet considered.

Thank you for your interest in Trust Across America. We look forward to continuing to build our trust ecosystem and in providing valuable resources to both individuals and companies. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others who may be interested.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director
Copyright © 2010 Next Decade, Inc.

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Today I received a “Dear Barbara” email from the Marketing Manager of a company I have never heard of. The first sentence read “I know you have been anxiously waiting to see the full program for the (Blah Blah Blah University and Conference) and it’s finally here!

Nicole whoever you are, next time you think it’s okay to address me by my first name, and tell me that I have been anxiously awaiting your email when I have never heard of you or your company, remember that I have the power to put all future spam from your organization on “block”. That’s one great feature of the internet.

And may I humbly suggest that before your next email promotion, study the definitions of the words trust, authenticity and integrity.

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Last weekend I blogged about a recent fender bender and the trustworthy behavior that was exhibited by all parties up to that point. Read First Blog

It’s now five days later and I am waiting for the insurance adjuster to examine the car. I have learned a few life lessons about auto insurance that I would like to pass along.

1. Auto insurers want to pay you the least possible, even if you had no fault or blame in the accident (as was the case here). One of the ways they do this (without necessarily telling you) is by slipping after market or reconditioned parts on your automobile. Don’t settle for this. It’s not trustworthy behavior.

2. Right now this accident is a third party claim, meaning that the guilty party’s insurance company is trying to settle directly with me instead of the claim being processed through my insurer. At first this sounds like a good idea. But here is the catch. Should I get “fed up” with how this third party insurer does business, and alternatively choose to put the claim through my own company, I must wait for my insurer to reclaim my deductible from the other party’s insurance company. And from what I’ve been told by my insurer, there is NO TIME LIMIT for repayment. In fact, I could wait for the $500.00 for years. Remember, the other party in this accident assumed full responsibility. Where is the consumer law that limits the amount of time one must wait to recover a deductible? Doesn’t seem like trustworthy behavior to me.

3. Finally, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that your insurance company hopes you never learn. It’s a two word term called “diminished value”. Diminished value is essentially the difference between what your automobile was worth before the accident and what it is worth after repairs. You know that online CARFAX report that shows up when you go to trade in or sell your car? Well, that little fender bender that was not my fault, may have devalued my low mileage, expensive SUV up to 20%, even if it is repaired back to its original state. Can a consumer collect for diminished value? Well, it depends where you live and who you ask. Am I eligible to collect? What do you think? Where’s the trust? Where’s the love?

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