Archive

Archive for the ‘culture development’ Category

Jun
30

Today we conclude our 2020 Trust Insights series. Should you ever choose to think about the role trust plays on your team or in your organization, start by answering the question “Trust to do what?” and then consider the following:

 

 

 

  • All leaders and their team members must take ownership and be proactive about trust. Trust must first be well defined, never taken for granted or only talked about after a crisis. More on this subject at this link.
  • Trust is an outcome of principled behavior on the part of all leaders and team members. Access our Trust Alliance Principles to learn more. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.
  • Leadership effectiveness should be evaluated by the internal environment of trust that has been created and maintained. Learn how you can evaluate it.
  • Trust cannot be regulated or delegated to a “department.” Without shared values that foster a culture of trust, leaders defer to legal and compliance to enforce rules. Read “Trust: Going Beyond Compliance & Ethics.”
  • No organization is sustainable without a foundation of trust, and there are no shortcuts.
  • Trust in leadership and among teams cannot be measured by public opinion polls. Don’t confuse external “perception of trust” surveys with internal surveys of trust.
  • A company cannot create authentic brand trust without first building trust internally.
  • If you are a leader who is not willing to personally do the work to build trust, don’t talk about it as if you are. Read “Ten One Liners for the Low Trust Leader.”
  • The only way to build trust is to behave your way into it. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to trust, and there are many work arounds.
  • Ignoring trust as an intentional business strategy presents enormous enterprise risk. The benefits of high trust are too numerous to ignore.

I hope you have enjoyed our 26-week Trust Insights series.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to over 500 others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jun
16

Given the right tools, trust can be measured. Barbara Brooks Kimmel

For decades, the external advisors to senior business leaders have counseled them to measure and evaluate every action according to return on investment. In recent years, box checking has become increasingly popular as well. Have you met your quota for women on boards? Are you decreasing your carbon footprint? Diversity and inclusion? Check. Advisory firms love to build new boxes to keep themselves in business. Last year’s box was “Purpose” and this year it is ESG. Imagine the year that the “trust” box becomes the box of choice. If you need proof that a business case for trust exists, please request it by sending an email to: info@trustacrossamerica.com

The following is a simple starting point to measure whether your employees trust you and trust each other. Ask them to count the behaviors below that are present in your organization.

  • High energy, motivation and engagement
  • Easy to hire and onboard new employees
  • Fun and laughter
  • High confidence, creativity and risk taking
  • Thriving innovation and productivity
  • Team alignment, sharing of information and credit, and quick forgiveness
  • Accountability and transparency as the norm
  • Willingness to be vulnerable and open, speak freely, and to listen
  • Positive team-building behaviors including gratitude, empathy and candor
  • A strong sense of “community” and shared values

Now ask them to identify how many of the following are present.  

  • Low energy, low productivity and burnout
  • High employee turnover and excessive use of sick days
  • Difficulty recruiting new employees
  • Too much focus on risk, rules and regulations 
  • Low innovation
  • No sharing of information and resistance to ideas
  • Lack of respect and passive/aggressive behavior
  • Resignation and cynicism
  • Finger-pointing, water cooler talk and lots of judgment
  • Cordial hypocrisy

Subtract the second number from the first to arrive at your trust baseline score.

Let’s say hypothetically your employees identify 5 positive trust behaviors and 5 negative. (5-5=0). Your trust score is zero. Don’t expect much employee engagement, innovation or risk taking.

Or your employees identify 8 positive behaviors from the first list and 2 negative from the second (8-2=6). Six is better than zero.

Or 2 posItive and 8 negative (2-8= -6). Not a place ANYONE wants to work. (And that “trust” box certainly can’t be checked.)

Our AIM Towards Trust survey tool has been used in dozens of teams and organizations to measure trust, start the trust discussion and fix what’s broken. The proactive and ethical business leaders who have adopted these tools can now check that trust box with confidence.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to 500 others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jun
09

Building trust in policing requires both trustworthy and collaborative community leadership and teamwork.  Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Police chiefs are not solely responsible for building trust with their communities. They are part of a team.  Just like a large corporation, the police department represents only one silo in the organization. They happen to also be the group subject to the most community exposure. In other words, it’s harder for the police department to hide behind a veil of secrecy, especially in cases involving misconduct, as we have recently witnessed. If you believe in the saying “The fish rots from the head,” you would be hard pressed to find an untrustworthy police chief working as part of a well-functioning team alongside a trustworthy mayor.

The following is taken from a recently updated report written by Trust Across America called Building Trust in Community Leadership, and originally published in 2013. It provides insights from top subject matter experts with whom we have worked over the years.

At a minimum….

The following are quick guiding principles in building and maintaining trust for community leaders:

Mayor

Public confidence in the integrity of elected officials is the cornerstone of our democratic representative system of governance.  As the highest-ranking elected official of its municipal town or city, the Office of the Mayor is charged with the trust, wellbeing, security, and prosperity of its citizens and community.  The Office of the Mayor should perform its responsibilities with the highest sense of ethical leadership, integrity and competence.  Each Mayor’s Office should develop, implement and monitor a set of Guiding Principles of Integrity that is tailored to its unique mandate and responsibilities. Donna C. Boehme, Compliance Strategists

(This short news clip provides a timely example of a Mayor who is talking about fortifying trust between community, police and local government.) Thanks Mayor Terry Short!

Town Manager

Today more than half of U.S. cities with a population of more than 10,000—and an increasing number of counties—are run by a combination of appointed professional administrators and elected officials. 

Trust is both the foundation and result of ethical leadership, and the manager must seek to create trust between himself and (1) the municipal employees, (2) his elected board, and (3) the community.  He can only do this one-day at a time as he sets examples for all other employees to follow, and public policy for the elected board to adopt.  His decisions on hiring, promotions, municipal services, and public policy must begin with transparency, and reflect his unbiased opinions on how municipalities provide public services to its citizens. David L. Woglom, Lafayette College

Chief of Police

An trustworthy policing leader creates and maintains a comprehensive values-based risk-management program that:

    1. Is based on clear, practical, effective and fair policies and practices to identify, prevent and detect illegal, unethical and unprofessional conduct.
    2. Assures that, if improper conduct occurs, prompt and appropriate remedial actions are taken to prevent future misconduct and to protect and enhance the agency’s credibility and reputation.   Michael Josephson, Josephson Institute

Head of Emergency Management

In emergency management the single most important issue that comes up again and again is the need for individual relationships to be in place before there is a disaster.  The criticality of these personal connections cannot be over emphasized.  One illustrative mantra that is shared is this, “If you see people exchanging business cards at the scene of an incident; you know it won’t go well.”

In reality while it sounds like relationships are key, the real shortfall that dooms projects, programs and regional efforts is a lack of trust between the individual players.  Trust then is the ultimate goal and how you get there is a critical path to be followed.  Eric Holdeman, Eric Holdeman & Associates

Superintendent of Schools

Few would argue that our education system must transform if we are to truly serve the needs of our students into the future. Now more than ever, the foundation for an educational leader’s strength comes from their trustworthiness and their ability to build trust among others.  Trust is no longer assumed based on position and credentials, but rather must be built based on the quality of relationships.  This requires a shift in leadership approach from one of command and control to one of collaboration.  Susan Mazza

To obtain a copy of the complete 17- page report including trust-building action plans for the job functions mentioned above, as well as other community leaders, please click here.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
14

Randy, thank you for participating in our 2020 Trust Insights series. What is your trust insight?

Trust doesn’t “just happen.” Randy Conley

 

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

I’ve found that people think trust just sort-of evolves naturally over time, as if through some relationship osmosis. The thinking goes that the longer you know and interact with someone, the more you grow to trust them. That leaves the development of trust to happenstance, and for most people, they don’t think about trust in a relationship until it’s been broken.

A better way is to approach building trust with purpose and intention, and to realize that it’s a skill that can be developed. Trust is based on perceptions, and those perceptions are formed by the behaviors we use. If we behave in trustworthy ways, we’ll build trust with others. If we use behaviors that erode trust with others, then we won’t be trusted. It’s pretty straight-forward in that regard. If trust is based on perceptions, the challenge becomes whose perception is the correct one? That’s why it’s important to have a common definition of trust. Since trust can be so subjective, having a common understanding of what trust is and isn’t, allows organizational team members to be on the same page regarding how they can build trust in their relationships.

 

Can you provide a real life example of a trust “challenge” where your insight has been effectively applied.

I worked with the CEO of a mid-western steel manufacturer and his leadership team to define what trust means for their organization. Trust was one of their core values, but they didn’t have a common language or understanding about what that looked like in practice. They adopted our ABCD framework as their definition of trust, which allowed them to communicate to all employees that when they talk about trust, they are referring to team members demonstrating they are Able, Believeable, Connected, and Dependable, and knowing the behaviors that support each of those four elements.

 

Generally, do you think the global “trust” climate is improving or worsening? What actions are making it better or worse?

In a general sense, the climate of trust seems to be worsening. Society is becoming more polarized over political issues and the pace of change driven by technology is making it difficult for people to adapt. The seeds of distrust are planted when people begin to experience doubt about the intentions of others, which grows into an active suspicion, anxiety, fear, and ultimately self-protection. When people get to a state of self-protection, they are unwilling to take the risk of extending trust.

Many claim we have a crisis of trust. Do you agree?

Generally we do have a crisis of trust, but more specifically, we have a crisis of untrustworthy leaders. At its most fundamental level, trust is an interpersonal dynamic, and organizational leaders need to take more responsibility, and hold themselves to a higher level of accountability, to build and maintain trust with their stakeholders.

 

Randy, how has your membership in our Trust Alliance benefitted you professionally?

My involvement in the Trust Alliance has benefited me by learning from other experts in the field. Their wisdom has sharpened my thinking about trust and encouraged me to consider viewpoints I may not have considered had I not been part of this community. I, and hopefully other members, have mutually benefited from the support and encouragement we offer each other.

 

Randy, thank you so much for your time and more importantly for your commitment to elevating organizational trust. What would you like our audience to know about you?

Randy Conley is Vice President & Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is Blanchard’s subject matter expert in the field of trust, co-author of Blanchard’s Building Trust training program, and works with organizations around the globe helping them build trust in the workplace. Trust Across America has recognized Randy with a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Top Thought Leader in Trust and he is a founding member of the Trust Alliance. Inc.com named Randy a Top 100 Leadership Speaker & Thinker and American Management Association included him in their Leaders to Watch in 2015 list. He holds a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego.

 

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
24

Sean, thank you for participating in our 2020 Trust Insights series. What is your trust insight?

“Developing trust starts with building a culture that values trust. Sean Flaherty

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

A culture of trust needs to be purposefully created. It always starts with the words that the organization’s leaders use, the stories that they tell and the actions that they take. Those words, stories and actions need to be consistent and in alignment. 
Trust is not something that can be promoted from the top down. It needs to be defined, measured and lived – exemplified by the top and measured and discussed all the way down to where your products and services meet your customers every day.
With a clear and shared definition of the word trust and agreement on how we earn it that starts at the top, it will spread throughout the organization.

Can you provide a real life example of a trust “challenge” where your insight has been effectively applied.

I have seen many organizations boost trust with subtle changes to how they are already doing business. A simple and powerful tactic that I have seen create a sustainable and scalable impact to trust: 
The Minimum Valuable Commitment”
Every time you make a promise and you keep a promise, is an opportunity to boost trust. Commitment is rare and it accelerates trust.
People tend to avoid making commitments because they are risky. We are wired to avoid unnecessary risk. But when you make commitments and keep them, even small promises, it builds trust faster. Being purposeful about the promises and commitments that you make to your customers can transform your business. Building commitment into your culture and empowering your people to make measured and valuable commitments can have a big impact on how you earn trust. Companies often make contractual guarantees and issue warranties because they know how important commitments are, but the small promises can be just as important in helping your people and your firm earn trust from your customers.
Intent is critical here. Your Say/Do ratio has to be really high. In addition, by making commitments, you have to recognize that occasionally, you will miscalculate and you will fail to keep a commitment. This is a good thing — as long as you clean up the mess. It means that you are committed and doing your best. It is difficult to trust wishy-washiness and apathetic commitments. We trust more powerfully when commitments are made with the positive intent to fulfill them.

Here is a basic thought experiment to explain how this works:
At some point in the history, most of us have visited a website that added value to the problem that we were trying to solve, and we decided to sign up for the newsletter when they requested our email address. Now, imagine experiencing these two different scenarios:
Scenario A: Give us your email address and we will send you our newsletter. You enter your email address. They pop-up a message that says thank you.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Your expectations are met. It’s not memorable. Maybe you will get a newsletter and maybe you will read it. Maybe not.
Scenario B: Give us your email address and we promise to send you the latest and greatest content in <this ecosystem that you care about> on the second business Monday of each month. You enter your email address. They pop-up the last newsletter that they sent (and send it to your inbox immediately) with a message at the top that says: “We promised we would send you the latest and greatest content. Here is what you can look forward to.”
Note how that second scenario made you feel.

The simple act of making a promise and keeping it can powerfully impact trust. Here is a simple checklist for your commitments that will make sure they are worthwhile:
[ ] Use the language of commitment. Saying “We promise to X” or “We commit to Y.” Using this language maximizes the emotional impact because these words have a powerful, shared meaning for people.
[ ] Make sure the commitment is as specific and complete as possible. Without a specific action and a specific timeframe that includes a day and a time, it is meaningless. There is a reason it is called a “dead-line.”
[ ] Verify that the commitment is valuable to your customer. Test it on live customers to see if you are able to improve your ability to earn trust. Your promises must be authentic, and may be more powerful if your customer is not expecting them from you. Be careful that your language does not work against you by sounding like it is scripted.
[ ] Honor the commitment. If you make promises that you do not have the ability to keep, you are much better off not making the commitment in the first place. Make sure you fully intend to keep the promise or are fully willing to make things right if you cannot.
[ ] Use the language of commitment when fulfilling your promise. For example: “We promised X; here we are keeping our promise.”

Generally, do you think the global “trust” climate is improving or worsening? What actions are making it better or worse?

I am an incorrigible optimist. I see the world through rose-colored glasses. We are making huge progress in the sciences of psychology, sociology and human motivation. The work of people like Brene Brown, Ed Deci, Richard Ryan, Daniel Goleman and many, many others is showing us, unequivocally, how important human relationships are to our collective future. While our political climate appears to be extremely polarized of late, I believe that this tide will ebb and we will eventually realize that we are in this together. The technology boom is helping to make the world a more transparent place and improving opportunities for more systemic trust building. Like all innovations, I believe that we are inside of a bubble where these technologies are being used in a negative manner. But history has shown us that we will be able to turn this around and the collective will win in the end.

Many claim we have a crisis of trust. Do you agree?

This is an eternal struggle. We will never be done learning how to improve trust. When you look objectively at the world today – it is exponentially better by almost every measure than it was even a decade ago.  If you were to microscopically look at any given problem in the world, it would be easy to say that we have a crisis of trust. But if you were to look at the macro, it would be hard to argue that we are not on a good path.
There is a lot of work to do in all aspects of our society, but I don’t think it helps to promote negativity. I think that is inauthentic and reduces trust.

Sean, how has your membership in our Trust Alliance benefitted you professionally?

I am a new member, but I am passionate about trust and committed to doing my part. I cant wait to have a better story to tell in a year.

 

Sean, thank you so much for your time and more importantly for your commitment to elevating organizational trust. What would you like our audience to know about you?

Sean Flaherty is a partner at ITX Corp. based in Rochester, NY where he oversees business development, partnerships and the innovation practice. ITX is a software product innovation firm with over 250 employees in 7 countries. Sean started building software products at 11 years old on his 8-Bit Commodore Vic-20 and he has never stopped. He studied aviation electronics working on F-14 Tomcats in the Navy, molecular genetics at the University of Rochester, and earned an MBA from the Simon School of Business. ITX has built a passionate team of technologists and artists that inspires him every day with the magic that they produce for their clients. Sean runs Innovation Workshops for his clients and speaks regularly on turning the intangibles in business, like trust, loyalty and advocacy into measurable results.

 

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Oct
15

Last week a business owner inquired if I could help his company build a roadmap to a high trust culture. First I asked what he thought the roadmap might include, and his answer was not surprising. “My business coach instructed my office manager to hire a motivational speaker, enter us in a “great workplace” competition, donate money to charity, and have an annual picnic. Then we can call ourselves trustworthy.” ( I didn’t dare ask for the name of the coach, as it was immediately apparent that trust subject matter expertise was not their forte.) My next question was a bit more difficult. I asked him what role he would play in designing the trust roadmap. His response, “That’s why I hired a coach, so I would know how and what to delegate to my staff.” Suffice it to say, it’s a good thing the conversation was occurring by phone so I could end the call quickly.

With unemployment at record lows and employee engagement and retention looking very bleak, one might think that leaders would pay closer attention to building a culture of trust, which some have gone as far as calling the “new currency,” but apparently not so. In fact, over the past ten+ years, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard similar (and sometimes worse) answers to the questions posed above. 

So once again I turned to the members of our Trust Council  and asked them for what they considered to be the first three steps in building a culture of trust.

Bob Vanourek a former Fortune 500 CEO was the first to respond, sharing the following, and from the perspective of a consultant engaged by a large organization:
1. Contact the top leader of the organization for a personal appointment to tell him/her what they are undertaking and why it is so important, promising to keep them and all intermediate levels of authority informed about this effort.
2. Call a special meeting (with no other agenda items) of his/her direct reports and other influential staff members to:
  • Inform them of this effort.
  • Ask for their help in supporting it.
  • Ask for their help in finding resources (written, video, or in-person) to support it.
  • Ask their help in creating periodic measures for all of them for how to observe progress.

3. Commit to keep trust-building as a top professional priority in the future.

Bob Whipple of Leadergrow approached the question from the perspective of what a small business owner might do:

Have a staff meeting and tell your team there are some new rules for the enterprise:

  1. We will admit our mistakes, and model that behavior by admitting a mistake you have made during the last week that you have not shared yet.
  2. Ask that every time a person receives help or some special effort from someone else on the team – that person writes a thank you email to the person and copies you on it.  You then read a selected few of those notes at the start of every meeting. Build a culture of reinforcement at all levels of the organization.
  3. Insist that when you say or do something that someone in the organization believes is not right or consistent with our values, that person is obligated to tell you what the concern is and promise that you will make that person glad he or she brought it up.  Then do exactly that without fail – ever.  Practice reinforcing candor!

My approach to constructing a high trust culture, encompasses some of the suggestions made by “the Bobs” above, and will work in any organization of any size.

  1. Establish an organizational trust-building committee comprised of a Board member if applicable, a member of the executive team, one senior employee from the compliance, finance, communications and HR functions. Set a one-year goal to build a culture of trust from the inside out, at the team level, including the Board and executive team.
  2. Since trust is an outcome of many universal principles, step two is for each team to determine which principles are weak, and which are strong. As our past surveys have shown, the results won’t necessarily be the same from team to team within the organization. (If the organization is relatively small, it may not be necessary to survey each team individually.)
  3. Spend the first six months addressing the weakest principles on each team and celebrating the strengths. Repeat survey in 6 months and continue working on the principles that remain weak. By the end of one year, the hardest part of the trust “construction project” will have been completed. Now go have that ice cream social!

Building a culture of trust will only be effective when: 

  1. Leaders acknowledge that culture change starts with them, and is always built from the inside out
  2. The right tools are used to identify trust weaknesses and strengths
  3. Team members are free to discuss survey or other diagnostic outcomes through open dialogue
  4. Trust weaknesses are mended and strengths are celebrated

We call this process AIM Towards Trust... Acknowledge, Identify, Mend and it’s been used successfully in teams and organizations of all sizes, shapes and colors; but only when leaders intentionally choose to build trust into their corporate culture AND own it. That must always occur BEFORE a crisis, not after the fact.

Finally don’t get caught up in “work arounds” to building a high trust culture because there ARE no quick fixes. These are a few of the more “trendy” ones that you might have encountered:

  • Misdefined trust: This includes brand trust, data trust, blockchain trust, and check-the-box trust. Trust is always internal and interpersonal.
  • External trust polls: If the question “trust to do what?” is not answered, the survey is either invalid or misleading.
  • Trust as a popular place holder title:  Many will use trust interchangeably with other terms like transparency, ethics or integrity, when it is actually a combination of many universal principles.
  • Trust as one-size-fits-all: Because of its complexity, all organizational trust challenges can be attributed to a variety of factors that must be identified and addressed separately and differently.
  • Trust that is not “principles” based: Trust is not a function of the PR department or a “purpose” campaign, but rather a function of highly principled trustworthy leadership.

I hope these suggestions will help you in constructing your own trust roadmap. Special thanks to Bob V. and Bob W. Your contributions to elevating trust are always appreciated.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. For more information on how to build authentic trust, contact her at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com 

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Aug
13

Some leaders pretend that trust is high even with mounting crises, excessive turnover and low engagement.

Some rely on external metrics that provide a false perception of trust while internal trust continues to languish.

If leaders could poll their employees (in one minute) to identify trust weaknesses and strengths would they?

Yes, using our survey tool called AIM Towards Trust many already have.

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The chart below shows one of many survey results administered by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World.

What would your team or organization’s results look like?

 

Are the results surprising?

Test drive the survey at this link. See how your organization compares to over 300 others.

Many global leaders claim that “trust is the new currency.” If you agree, what is holding you back for evaluating the level of trust within your team or organization and starting a trust discussion?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust using a proprietary diagnostic called AIM Towards Trust. A former consultant to 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. For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc. No part of this document may be reproduced without permission.

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Apr
01

Trust Across America has been writing about Wells Fargo and making public suggestions to leadership on how to fix the Bank’s low trust since 2016, apparently to no avail.

The recent “trust building” communications “horse and pony” show was predictably a huge and expensive fail.  Anyone with even a basic understanding of organizational trust knows that trust is internal and must be built from the inside out, not through a PR campaign. So now the sudden resignation of the current CEO comes as no surprise to us, nor does the appointment of the “interim” CEO who “by chance” happens to be a lawyer.

Over the weekend we asked members of our cross functional Trust Council to weigh in on the actions required to right what appears to be a sinking ship. We appreciate the thoughts of our Council members who took the time to weigh in.

Acknowledge trust as a hard asset: Do not assume that trust is a “soft skill” and do not attempt a fix via exclusive input from legal and compliance. Form a cross-silo team to attack low trust with the support of the “right” Board members, possibly necessitating some “reshuffling” at the highest level. In other words, clean house.

Make trust building the first priority: A foundation of trust must be built before culture can be fixed. 

Be accountable: Embrace responsibility and accountability and avoid the deadly Watergate sin of tip-toeing up to the line but not crossing it, perpetuating the sense of cover-up. You’ve got to own it—and then some.

Measure what matters: Assess the current level of stakeholder trust and use this baseline to begin attacking the weaknesses. What can be measured can be managed.

Practice and reinforce values: Saying or printing them is mere cant. You’ve got to propagandize them, talk about them in application to specific instances, hold leaders accountable for a quota of such applications.

Model humility: Place truth-telling ahead of personal or professional gain.

Be transparent: Reject hidden agendas and be transparent wherever and whenever possible.

Hire and fire: Nothing builds trust faster than firing and hiring people. Hire/fire/promote on visible demonstrations of the bank’s values. Cull out the middle managers who still think they can get away with hiding unethical behaviors. 

Erase fear: Drive out fear and ensure every voice is heard and every trust breach is fully investigated. “The absence of fear is the incubator of trust.” Reward moral character and reinforce candor.

Track performance:  Define and scorecard performance against both values and value.

Perhaps the most difficult question came yesterday when someone asked me “Who would want the job of CEO?” That’s a tough one. Hiring another banker may not even be the best solution as finance is not generally considered an industry to exhibit high trust behavior. Regardless, the hope is that whoever the brave soul is who steps in to take the position begins their tenure by first acknowledging that trust is internal and must be elevated from the inside out. Only then can the required culture work begin.

PS- CNN just (attempted to) weigh in on how the bank can end the crisis. They may want to go back to the drawing board and craft a followup article.

For more information and tools to elevate trust, head over to our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2019 Next Decade, Inc.

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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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