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Mar
26

 

In a recent GreenBiz article the author asks  Is This the End of Corporate Social Responsibility? Apparently CSR doesn’t “cut it anymore” and companies are now turning to the creation of social purposes or missions as “the reason for the company’s existence.” Sounds promising except for that one “big elephant in the room.”  Can you name it?

 

 

Study after study show that low stakeholder trust continues to drag down most companies, even ten years “post financial crisis.”

  • Only 7 percent of Americans believe that major company CEOs have high ethical standards. Public Affairs Council
  • Only a minority of millennials believe businesses behave ethically. Deloitte
  • 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Gallup
  • Just 46% of employees placed “a great deal of trust” in their employer, and only 49% placed “a great deal of trust” in their manager or colleagues. Ernst & Young
  • For the first time in the six years the gauge has been reported, the US has dropped out of the “Top 10” countries for innovation. Bloomberg

Developing social purpose and mission is NOT going to fix what is wrong inside organizations.  We call these “perception of trust” fixes as opposed to authentic trustworthiness. The first is built from the outside in, while the latter is a more difficult inside out endeavor.  Focusing on social purpose before trust is like putting a clean shirt on a dirty body. And other than an “easy fix” that gives marketing and PR something to talk about, it makes little sense.

When business leaders treat trust as a tangible asset and a business imperative, the following results are achieved:

  • Employees are more engaged and retention increases
  • Innovation is higher and occurs more quickly
  • Teams are more cohesive and decisions are made faster
  • Transparency and communication improve
  • Costs decrease and profitability increases

And the opposite occurs when they don’t, which is where most organizations find themselves today. A social purpose and mission will not fix low trust. It’s up to leadership to decide when (and if) they are ready to address the “elephant in the room.” Delaying it doesn’t fix it.

PS- Elevating trust is the best kept secret of many enlightened business leaders and it is giving them not only a head start, but a clear competitive advantage. For more information on how to build trust in your organization, please send a note to me at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com. We are running our trust diagnostic (AIM Towards Trust) for many teams and organizations and, depending on the results, providing further insights on how to fix the weaknesses.

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. She holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. 

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
07

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Mar
05

In the words of Abraham Lincoln…. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

 

The same applies to trust. These commonly taken shortcuts to trust may fool some of your stakeholders, but won’t fool them all, and over time they may come back to haunt you.

  • Narrowly defining trust in a way that suits the trustee. Brand loyalty, check the box sustainability, philanthropy, “feel good” CSR, blockchain solutions and data security are not trust. Neither are reputation, loyalty or transparency.
  • Delegating trust to a motivational speaker instead of a subject matter expert.
  • Paying for a “great workplace” award.
  • Beefing up the legal and compliance staff.
  • Making trust a PR campaign based on “talk” rather than action.

Do we really need more proof that shortcuts to elevating workplace trust do not work?

Take a look at the following data:

Trust within an organization is essential to its success. But “Global Generations 3.0” research, released by Ernst & Young, showed trust isn’t a given. The survey of nearly 10,000 workers ages 19 to 68 in eight countries revealed that just 46% of employees placed “a great deal of trust” in their employer, and only 49% placed “a great deal of trust” in their manager or colleagues. June 2016

According to a new global study by BBMG and GlobeScan, “Brand Purpose in Divided Times,” net trust in global companies to act in the best interest of society is negative (-2). And for the first time since 2009, more consumers say they have punished companies for their behavior (28%) rather than rewarded them (26%), and the number of those who are punishing brands is up by 9 percentage points since 2013.

According to 2018 polling by the Public Affairs Council, only 7 percent of Americans believe that major company CEOs have high ethical standards, and only 9 percent have a very favorable opinion of major companies. Only 42 percent of Americans trust major companies to behave ethically, down from 47 percent last year.

Gallup’s 2017 reports: A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow. And according to their recent State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged (up from 2015) in their work and workplace, while 67% are “not engaged.

 

Building a “principled culture” of high trust and ethics is not difficult. It simply requires leadership buy-in, and a bit of vulnerability. High priced quick fixes might fool some of the people in the short-term, but in the long-term sustainable businesses are built on trust from the inside out, not the outside in.

In our recently launched one minute (free and totally anonymous) diagnostic survey called “Building Trust One Principle at a Time,” we ask which of twelve universal trust principles (TAP) are weakest in your organization. At the end, respondents will see how their workplace compares to all others. Bringing this tool “in house” will provide enlightened leaders, teams and organizations with a baseline trust “temperature” from which to build long-term business health. Just tap on the Take our Quiz button or go direct to the Survey.

If trust is the “new currency,” as some have recently claimed, the challenge will be to “get it right” by avoiding the shortcuts and embracing the solutions.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara has consulted with many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, and also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance . She is  the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine.  Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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Feb
18

When trust is low, fear is high, and fear is very costly.

Numerous studies have shown that:

  • High-trust organizations consistently outperform their rivals
  • Trust is the foundation of high performing teams
  • Trust reduces employee turnover and increases engagement
  • Trust increases productivity and innovation
  • High trust leads to long-term business success, beyond just short-term “home runs.”

What is your organization doing to cut the losses of low trust?

The “fix” is relatively easy and inexpensive. And it begins by acknowledging that low trust is costing you money. Like a disease, if low trust is ignored, it continues to spread.

Our newest Trust Tool is based on our Trust Alliance Principles (TAP), the result of the collaborative efforts of dozens of the world’s leading trust scholars and practitioners. Since April, these principles have been accessed over 40,000 times in 16 languages. This tool will provide any team (including the Board of Directors,) or organization of any size in any industry, with a simple roadmap to track and elevate trust.

Want to learn more? Contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and 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.  Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

 

Copyright(c) 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jan
31

This past week the World Economic Forum held its annual meeting at Davos and the global elite were buzzing like bees around the word “trust.” 

Overlapping was another meeting being held in a remote corner of NJ (of all places), perhaps because the “polar vortex” was about to ground the attendees’ private jets. This gathering was called “Sovad so Good” or “Sovad” for short.)

For those unfamiliar with the annual Davos event, it’s by “invitation only,” and even those who secure an invite might not be able to afford the cost of admission. Most badges require a membership to the World Economic Forum, which costs somewhere between $60,000 and $600,000, plus an additional fee of more than $27,000 per person to get into the conference. (CNBC, January 25, 2019)

Worth noting: Of the 3000 attendees almost 800 were Americans and 22% were women, up from 21% last year! Less than 5% of S&P 500 CEOs are women—that’s just 24 companies. We can’t know how many of those 24 were invited to the event in Davos, but the official attendance list includes four of their names: Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan N.V.; Adena Friedman, CEO of  Nasdaq Inc.;  Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corp.; and Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM. Quartz, January 21, 2019

Sovad (the other Davos) didn’t include the high price tag (or any admission fee for that matter), nor the “A” list of celebrities like Matt Damon or Will.i.am, and side deals were not being done off stage, probably because there was no stage. (Over 50% of the SOVAD group is women.) No large “trust signs” were erected at the entrance to our gathering like the one leading up to Davos. It was just too darn cold for anyone to want to climb a ladder, especially those in skirts.

CNN reported, ‘Trust is the new buzzword at Davos,” and as Dana Carvey “The Church Lady” liked to say on SNL, “Well isn’t that special.” (Dana and I lived together at one time but that’s a topic for another post.) So what was all the Davos “buzz” on trust about? These were the trust “themes:”

  1. Rebuilding trust (think Facebook.) Sheryl Sandberg was the trust “expert” on this subject.
  2. Trust and technology (digital security, AI, blockchain, etc.)
  3. Trust and innovation
  4. Trust and sustainability
  5. Trust and CEOs “taking stands.”

To the attendees at Davos these are certainly important revenue generating discussions to be having. But do they actually get to the heart of trust, or even move the needle slightly to elevate societal trust? That’s a solid “No.”  Here’s why.

It seems only one trust conversation was missing at Davos, and probably the most important one: How do we move our societal institutions from trust buzz to trust action? And that was the ONLY conversation at Sovad.

So while the fine food and drink flowed, and the planes stayed warm on the tarmac in Switzerland, the Sovad attendees arrived by auto and took the following action over a burger and a beer:

With no revenue generating agenda, we created 12 universal principles for elevating trust and began asking those who didn’t travel to Europe, how that “trust thing” is working in their organization. After all, isn’t that where trust starts (and ends)? Apparently, we struck a chord as over 35,000 unassuming folks from around the world have joined the conversation.

Will you take our brand new (one question/one minute) survey? Find out how your organization compares to others.

Note: Some believe that this year’s gathering was a disappointment on many fronts. Perhaps the word “trust” was simply a placeholder until a “real” topic can be identified for 2020. Kenneth Rogoff, the Harvard economist, summed it up: “This is the flattest Davos I can remember. Normally, there is a star country or a star industry that everybody is talking about. But this year, there is nothing.”

Could it be that the “nothing” has “something” to do with trust?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and 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. Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright(c) 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jan
24

This is a timely article about what trust is and what it isn’t! 

www.fcpablog.com/blog/2019/1/24/five-stupid-ideas-about-trust-in-business.html

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, pictured above left, 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.

Charles H. Green, above right, is an author, speaker and world expert on trust-based relationships and sales in complex businesses. Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates, he is author of Trust-based Selling, and co-author of The Trusted Advisor and the Trusted Advisor Fieldbook. He majored in philosophy (Columbia), and has an MBA (Harvard). He has authored articles in Harvard Business Review, Directorship Magazine, Management Consulting News, CPA Journal, American Lawyer, Investments and Wealth Monitor, and Commercial Lending Review.

 

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Jan
13

2019 began with a trust “bang” when Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced a new position in his company. Essentially, after some deep soul searching, this CEO recognizes that most large organizations, including the tech sector, have a trust problem and he is committed to solving that. Marc is one of a small yet growing cadre of enlightened leaders, and with the appointment of Paula Goldman from Omidyar Network, Salesforce now has a Chief Ethics and Humane Use Officer.

I recently asked a few of Trust Across America’s Trust Council members  to weigh in on how Paula can be most effective in her new role.

Donna Boehme who heads Compliance Strategists and has been a leading voice for Compliance 2.0 had this to say:

As the CEO says, it’s been “dark days” for the tech industry, which is by no means an overstatement. With so much change leading to an aggregation of power in the big tech companies, the industry is long overdue for a reckoning. By appointing a senior executive to begin to manage such issues at his company, the CEO is demonstrating intuitive foresight and risk assessment. I also imagine he has seen the disasters that befall companies that fail to value ethical leadership and culture as a key company asset.

That’s quite a high minded and open-ended title to the extent it opens the door to confusion and misinterpretation. Ms. Goldman should do what I often coach new chief compliance and ethics officers (CECOs) to do: refine her title and ensure she has a clear written mandate for the role that is understood and agreed by all of senior management.

In that vein, Bob Whipple at Leadergrow had similar advice for Paula:

Make sure to have clarity of your role.  Many a “Chief Ethical Officer” has found out that he or she is ultimately like an appendix. I have always believed that ethical culture is a line rather than a staff function. Also, try to figure out what “humane use” really means.

Back to Donna Boehme

A clear written mandate is the key to empowerment for those in these roles…including a clarification of the respective roles of others (HR, Legal, Audit, etc.) supporting the program to avoid redundancy and gaps. The future… hinges on robust collaboration and coordination by all who support related activities, which is why the written mandate and collaboration tools are important. I go by the well-established compliance maxim  of “If everyone is responsible for feeding the dog, the dog starves.”

Another early area of concentration for anyone new to this role is to establish key peer and mentor networks to support them as they navigate the often rocky waters in which any new function/executive must exist and succeed. 

The challenges for BigTech feel analogous to those faced by the defense industry in the 80’s, and it seems natural that a shared endeavor to address the risks of compliance and culture could prove as productive and proactively beneficial as the early Defense Industry Initiative did for BigDefense in the 80’s.

I also turned to Bob Vanourek, at Triple Crown Leadership, a former CEO of several major companies who offered this advice:

As the first steps in her new role as Salesforce’s first Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, Paula Goldman should:

  1. Seek input from multitudes of sources inside and outside the company as to the ethical and humane issues that are frothing to the surface in the coming years.
  2. Enlist a large cross-section of volunteers from inside and outside the firm who agree to think deeply about these issues and offer their counsel on how to deal with them. These volunteers should be wildly diverse in age, gender, disciplines, experience, political views, and other areas of difference.
  3. Assemble a small group of volunteer colleagues inside the firm to crystalize and summarize the input and views from above to discuss with her superiors at Salesforce with recommendations on the top few issues on which Salesforce wishes to take an initial public stand.

And finally, Stephen M.R. Covey who needs no introduction, offered these valuable insights:

This will not be easy for Paula because people often view differently what they perceive as right and wrong when it comes to policy decisions, and it can especially become contested when it comes to matters that are (or might become) politicized. In other words, there could be more than one right answer. If that’s the case, then focusing on establishing agreed upon criteria and process would seem to be among the highest leveraged initial steps she should take, including: 

  1. Focus on establishing criteria for her committee’s framework that includes making the creation, preservation, and enhancement of trust—externally and internally—an explicit objective, i.e., “How will this decision affect our trust in society? In the marketplace?  In the workplace?, etc.”
  2. Focus on establishing criteria that recognizes the fundamental needs (economic, social, intellectual, purpose) of ALL stakeholders, and seek to establish a dynamic process of attempting to assess and ultimately balance these needs and stakeholders.
  3. Create a process for internal feedback and discussion so as to be open and transparent inside the organization so that even if some people might disagree with the decision, they might still have felt heard and understood (even if not agreed).
  4. “Declare your intent” as to what you’re doing, and especially why you’re doing it, so as to be clear and transparent about agenda and motive.

As the CEO of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, I offer Paula the following:

1. Our TAP program, guiding principles developed over the course of the past year by our global Trust Alliance, and currently accessed over 30,000 times. These Principles, available in 16 languages, can elevate trust in any organization of any size. We have recently completed Phase #2 providing a series of discussion questions for implementing each Principle.

2. Our research on the intersection of trust and profitability, should anyone should ask the question “Why trust?”

A few closing questions:

  • Should Paula Goldman be reporting to the Chief Equality Officer or someone else?
  • Will Paula’s role simply be to ensure that new technology initiatives remain ethically “compliant” or will the position go beyond this somewhat limited scope?

While our ten years researching the trustworthiness of public companies points to the conclusion that “no company is perfect,” how exciting to start 2019 with this news from a visionary leader in the tech sector. Well done. Now the “hard” work starts.

You can read Marc Benioff’s announcement at this CNBC link.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and 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. Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright(c) 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Jan
08

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s free

2019 Calendar and Poster

provide ideas to start the trust discussion.

Will 2019 be the year when you become an enlightened leader?

Register to receive these tools via the home page of our website.

 

If you have any questions, comments or ideas, we are here to listen.

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jan
06

How can organizations ensure that

red lights turn green in 2019?

 

Please share your ideas.

 

 


Is this a useful resource to you and your organization? Please consider making a donation to help us build more tools.

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Dec
29

Around this time every year, the news “treats us” to the top leadership failures, and 2018 is certainly no exception. “The trust buck” certainly stopped on the CEO’s desk at Facebook, Uber and Theranos, to name just a few.

While the media may continue to believe that only “bad” sells,  I launched Trust Across America-Trust Around the World more than ten years ago, with one objective of directing attention to the “good” because their stories rarely get told. Perhaps they are just too “good” to get air time, and just maybe the media is ignoring the stories that people want to hear.

This list is not about CEOs taking stands, feel good philanthropy, “check the box sustainability” or CSR projects, but rather about high integrity leaders who believe that a long-term holistically trustworthy strategy will positively impact ALL stakeholders.

Top Ten Stories of 2018

(presented alphabetically)

  • *Chip Bergh runs Levi Strauss and continues his focus on building a long-term culture with great success. (And BTW: Chip and I share the Lafayette College alma mater.
  • Many people like to throw darts at Jeff Bezos at Amazon for “disrupting” retail, yet he also gives back in a big way. This is his newest preschool initiative.
  • Larry Fink Blackrock’s CEO rattled the business world in his letter to CEOs by announcing a new model for corporate governance.
  • David Kleis is St. Cloud Minnesota’s longest serving Mayor, who, over the past 3 years, has been hosting monthly dinners at his house and almost 700 town halls to get to know his constituents, complete with a mobile bus!
  • *Rose Marcario at Patagonia is using the company’s $10 million tax break to help save the planet.
  • *David Reiling is CEO of St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks. Under his leadership, Sunrise became Minnesota’s first bank certified as a community development financial institution, a legal benefit corporation, and a member of the Global Alliance of Banking on Values. As David says “At the end of the day, if the community succeeds, we will be able to thrive along with them.”
  • Physician Kylie Vannaman runs MDPCA (Midwest Direct Primary Care Alliance) a group that is buying back medical bills from those who cannot afford to pay them.
  • Martin Van Trieste, a former Amgen executive is the CEO of Civica RX. Never heard of them? This mission driven company plans to stabilize the soaring costs of prescription drugs.
  • Bob Wilson an 89-year old California business owner just wrote 1085 checks, each for $1000. Find out why.
  • Jeff Yurcisin, a former Amazon executive who recently became president of Zulily, talks about why trust is the #1 leadership imperative.

Let’s celebrate these trustworthy leaders and their organizations. Let’s work together to continue to build organizational trust in 2019.

* Chip Bergh, Rose Marcario and David Reiling also appeared on this list in 2018.

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.

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