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Archive for the ‘culture development’ Category

Nov
08

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW) recently released its 10th anniversary report “Trust & Integrity in Corporate America 2018.” The report includes a list of America’s public companies that were named to TAA-TAW’s proprietary Trust & Integrity Index, requiring a score of at least 70/100 in our unique FACTS(R) Framework, now with 8 years of data. Understanding that no company is perfect, only 103 companies in the Russell 1000 qualified including several from Finance, proving once again that industry is not destiny.

A few names from the sector in alphabetical order: Bank of America, Blackrock, Capital One Financial, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Voya Financial. Congratulations to the leadership of these companies on their success.

To access the complete report please visit the home page at www.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. 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

 

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Oct
13

If this confidential workplace culture survey were administered, how many of the following ten questions would you answer “yes?” 

(Take the survey below)

  1. Do you trust leadership?
  2. Are you very engaged at work?
  3. Do leaders have the “right” skills to build trust?
  4. Do the words of leadership match their actions?
  5. Does high organizational trust keep you at your job?
  6. Does your company behave ethically?
  7. Is the company culture highly aligned?
  8. Is innovation affected by the culture?
  9. Do you think a high trust culture is responsible for elevating the success of your company?
  10. Has leadership committed to elevating organizational trust?

No doubt these are some tough questions. And while most workplace surveys exclude them, imagine the valuable insights if they were included. And in fact, every one of these questions has been addressed in recent studies conducted by many leading organizations. These are just a few of the answers to the ten questions posed above.

  1. According to HBR.org and Zenger/Folkman, these two competencies were voted the most important for management positions. “Inspires and motivates others, displays high integrity and honesty.”
  2. According to Deloitte’s Millenial Survey 2018 only a minority of millenials believe businesses behave ethically.
  3. Gallup reports that only 46% of disengaged employees trust management.

Are you surprised by these findings? For the most part, trust in business has stagnated since we began tracking it ten years ago. In Trust Across America’s most recent 2018 study of the trustworthiness of America’s largest public companies only 103 companies in the Russell 1000 scored a 70% or above. The rest failed our test.

In celebration of our 10th anniversary helping organizations build trust, we spent the best part of the past three months assembling a research report called “Trust & Integrity in Corporate America 2018.” The (almost) 50-page report answers every question posed above, and many more. Studies from over 20 leading organizations, trust models addressing individuals, teams, leadership and organizations, highlights of our FACTS® Framework research and many other valuable tools are included.

Good measurement informs uncertain decision-making, and when an organization asks the right questions and measures what matters, leaders make better decisions. While corporate culture, core values, good citizenship, ethics, integrity and trust are commonly believed to be immeasurable intangibles or soft skills, research highlighted in our report points in the direction that these are not only false beliefs, but also that the benefits of an ethical culture far outweigh the costs. Yet most leaders continue to hold fast to the “soft skills” argument because neither they nor their Boards of Directors are thinking about them or reviewing the “right” data or inputs. Trust Across America tackled the “Board challenge” topic in the free spring 2018 issue of TRUST! Magazine.

It’s not uncommon for the following warning signs to be present in organizations when focus is on the wrong “tangibles” and the “soft skills” are misidentified.

  • The organizational culture is a mystery.
  • No clear “ownership” of ethical or trustworthy business practices or decision-making exists.
  • Discussions/training on ethics and trust rarely occur. When they do, they are lead by either the compliance or legal department and focus on rules, not integrity and trust since these attributes are voluntary and cannot be regulated.
  • Discussions of short-term gains and cost cutting dominate group meetings.
  • The pressure to perform is intense and the language used is very strong.
  • The Legal and Compliance departments are large and growing.
  • Ethical considerations/testing are not part of the hiring process and fear is widespread among employees.

Sound familiar? If so, leaders should be asking themselves a series of questions including the following. (Others are addressed in our recent report.)

SUCCESS: What role does trust play in ensuring a healthy culture ultimately impacting the success of your organization?

PERFORMANCE: How is trust tied to high performance, innovation, and sustainability in your organization?

COSTS: What are the costs/implications of not having a high level of trust in your organization?

BENEFITS: What are the payoffs of a trust-based organization for your stakeholders including your employees, customers, community and shareholders?

CULTURE: What values, principles or beliefs does your organization follow that are essential to building a foundation of trust?

What better time then now to start asking the “right” questions, collecting the “right” data and improving the culture for the benefit of all? Wouldn’t it be great if more organizations, including yours, could pass the test? What’s holding you back?

Take our survey here:

[powr-survey id=cc4e6af7_1539436598009]

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

 

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Jul
23

 

By Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Co-founder Trust Across America

 

In the short-term “low trust” public companies can be very profitable. Corporate executives who “legally” cheat, steal, avoiding paying taxes, and stay just to the “right” of compliance may produce the profits that both their “old school” Board and short-term oriented shareholders crave, but these “business as usual” trust violations are not conducive to long-term business success. A growing number of companies are replacing the “stuck in the 80s leadership model” with proactive business executives who acknowledge that long-term success is built by embracing trust as both a strategic advantage and intentional business strategy. This translates to practicing “trust” on a daily basis by building a trustworthy and responsible corporate culture,  treating customers and suppliers “right”, by having superior products, great service, a well-configured Board, low employee turnover, and a high degree of innovation.

Now in its 9th year, our proprietary FACTS® Framework measures the trust “worthiness” of America’s largest public companies (over 2000). The following are some of the “fast facts” drawn from our larger study.

Chart #1 

Since 2012 Trust Across America has selected and publicly published an annual list of “Top Ten” Most Trustworthy Public Companies. Had you invested in those 10 companies on the day of publication, your portfolio would have significantly outperformed the S&P 500.

 Chart #2

FACTS data can be sorted by sector and the following chart represents the sector rankings for the Russell 1000 for 2018. Please keep in mind that the Framework uses a broad 16-sector model provided by Zacks Investment Research. Others like S&P and Morningstar sometimes place companies in different sectors. For example, Zacks financial sector includes banks, insurance companies, REITS and brokerage firms, to name just a few. And it’s also important to remember that industry is NOT destiny.

The data can also rank companies within sectors, by market cap and headquarter location, to name just a few. We can also perform company comparisons.

 

Sector Rankings

 

Correlation Studies:

Trust Across America continues to run a series of ongoing correlation studies with other organizations and these are a few of our findings:

  • High correlation between our FACTS rankings and percentage of women on boards as reported by Catalyst.
  • High correlation between our FACTS rankings and Governance & Accountability Institute’s companies that voluntarily report on sustainability.
  • Low correlation between our FACTS rankings, Great Places to Work and Forbes Annual Ratings of Most Trustworthy Public Companies. (Forbes data providers employ a narrower “measure” of trust “worthiness” to compile their rankings.)

These studies and many others, confirm that the best companies are more responsible, and they dedicate the necessary resources for continuous improvement.

Our FACTS Framework and rankings are being licensed in a variety of formats. Read more about the Framework at this link.

Email Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com for more information.

Barbara Kimmel, CEO & Co-founder Trust Across America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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May
30

(Source: G.Palazzo, F. Krings, Journal of Business Ethics, 2011).

 

Many models of (un)ethical decision making assume that people decide rationally and are in principle able to evaluate their decisions from a moral point of view. However, people might behave unethically without being aware of it. They are ethically blind.

 

As organizations are comprised of individuals, Ethical Blindness naturally extends into the workplace. Some business sectors appear to be more ethically blind than others, and this creates enormous enterprise risk. This chart shows the trustworthiness of the major sectors for the Russell 1000 companies based on Trust Across America’s FACTS(R) Framework.

 

Ethical blindness can be corrected if leaders choose to be “tuned in” to the warning signs described below:

  • The Board of Directors does not have established long-term policies or procedures in place to elevate ethical and trustworthy behavior with their internal and external stakeholders. For more information see the Spring Issue of Trust Magazine.
  • Leaders, unless they are ethically “aware” by nature, are not proactive about elevating trust or ethics as there is no mandate to do so. When a crisis occurs, the “fix” follows a common “external facing” script involving a costly and unnecessary PR campaign. Wells Fargo’s latest “building trust” television commercial provides a timely example. Meanwhile internally, it’s “business as usual.”
  • Discussions of short term gains and cost cutting dominate most group meetings. The pressure to perform is intense and the language used is very strong.
  • The Legal and Compliance departments are large and growing faster than any other function.
  • The organizational culture is a mystery. No clear “ownership” of ethical or trustworthy business practices or decision-making exist. Think “hot potato.”
  • Discussions/training on ethics and trust rarely occur and when they do, they are lead by either the compliance or legal department and focus on rules, not ethics and trust.
  • Ethical considerations/testing are not part of the hiring process and fear is widespread among employees.

Is Ethical Blindness at the organizational level fixable? Absolutely. But the first order of business requires leadership acknowledgement and commitment to elevating organizational trust and ethics.

These 12 Principles called TAP, were developed over the course of a year by a group of ethics and trust experts who comprise our Trust Alliance. They should serve as a great starting place for not only a discussion but a clear roadmap to eradicating Ethical Blindness. As a recent TAP commenter said:

An environment /culture that operates within this ethos sounds an awesome place to me , I would work there tomorrow if I knew where to look for it. 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey and many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, and is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she became a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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Mar
07

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Douglas Conant is the Founder & CEO of Conant Leadership

 

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

Linda Fisher Thornton is CEO of Leading in Context LLC

 

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

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

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

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

Donna Boehme is Principal, Compliance Strategists

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Linda Locke is a Senior Vice President at Standing Partnership.

 

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

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

 

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

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

Davia Temin is the CEO of Temin & Company

 

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

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

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

Alain Bolea runs Business Advisors Network

 

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

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

 Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc

 

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

Barbara Kimmel, CEO Trust Across America

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

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

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

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Feb
20

Trust is not a soft skill, nor should it be taken for granted. It is a tangible asset that impacts the bottom line.

Last week’s blog post discussed the various ways that low trust can kill an organization. So how can trust be elevated? We asked our Trust Alliance members to weigh in and the following are some “best practices” for building organizational trust.

  • First identify what builds trust and what breaks trust. Bob Vanourek
  • Agree on core values, then practice and reinforce them daily. Barbara Brooks Kimmel
  • Build cultures of commitment vs. compliance where choices are guided by values, not policies. Mark Fernandes
  • Work tirelessly to dispel the illusion that trust is a soft skill. Doug Conant
  • Be a role model. Charlie Green
  • Be inclusive in your decision-making process. Nadine Hack
  • Set intentional promises and expectations on what you will deliver to all stakeholders. David Reiling
  • Go public when expressing gratitude; go private when expressing disappointment. Holly Latty-Mann
  • Presume good intentions. Bart Alexander
  • In every interaction with every person, ask yourself “What can I do in this moment to strengthen the trust between us?” Jim Kouzes

Our growing global Trust Alliance is working to build tools to help organizations of all sizes and shapes build trust. What’s stopping you from joining?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey & Co., 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.

Join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Feb
13

 

Did you know that the average lifespan of a public company is now less than 20 years, down from 60 years in the 1950s? While some might argue that disruptive technology is to blame, that’s a smoke screen for the real culprit. After all, high trust companies are great innovators.

Today’s pervasive low trust business environment might be the #1 risk to every company. Without trust as a foundation, the chances for long-term survival are slim to none, and crises are a sure bet.

While trust holds the key to long-term success  it remains the single most overlooked, yet one of the simplest business strategies to implement.

How many of these low trust warning signs are present in your organization?

  1. Trust is taken for granted and viewed as a soft skill. It is never discussed.
  2. There is no Chief Trust Officer or keeper of the culture. Instead, the Chief Compliance Officer wields the “big stick” and remains the laughing stock of the employees.
  3. corporate credo or core values are nonexistent, or the one in place is no more than Kumbaya “words” on the corporate website.
  4. Strategies to elevate organizational trust have never been discussed let alone defined, shared or agreed upon.
  5. Leadership is focused on survival and short-term profitability. In fact, compensation is tied to quarterly earnings.
  6. The leadership team lacks leadership skills and never speaks publicly without “legal” sign off. (Great college lacrosse players don’t necessarily make trustworthy leaders.)
  7. There is not a single woman in sight on the executive leadership team.
  8. A well-defined hiring strategy has not been implemented resulting in cultural misalignment, confused and non engaged employees.
  9. Employee turnover is high but no one asks “Why?”
  10. Board members are “Yes men” for the CEO, and “Yes” they are all men.

How many of these trust “fails” do you see on a daily basis? What’s your guess on the longevity of your business?

Want to learn more about building organizational trust? Our website provides an endless number of tools and resources for elevating organizational trust. Many of them are free. Read a book, join our Trust Alliance, find an hour to discuss a Case Study, read the Trust Across America blog.

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.

Join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Jan
06

Photo courtesy of blog.ipleaders.in

Ten years of ongoing research on organizational trustworthiness has Trust Across America concluding that well-governed companies are less prone to crisis and more profitable over the long term.

One need not look beyond Uber to the fallout of a corporate governance failure. Yet, as a business leader, my definition of “well governed” may not necessarily align with yours.

If your current or past experience includes Independent Lead Directorship, Board Chair or CEO (either active or retired), would you kindly take a few minutes to respond in writing, with short answers, to the following questions?

  • What does/did the term “good corporate governance” mean to you?
  • What are/were some of the key governance practices you find/found most useful to good corporate governance?
  • What are some suggestions you have for improved corporate governance in the future?

We hope to receive 50 responses to be published in a special upcoming governance issue of TRUST! Magazine as well as in a series of articles.

If you do not want to be identified, that works too, but please respond with the following information.

Name:

Title:

Company:

Can we publish your response with your name and title?

 

Please reply directly to me: Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com. We are hoping to collect your response no later than February 1, 2018, in time for our publication. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel
CEO and Cofounder

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Dec
01

Image courtesy of jonvilma.com

While the media might have you believing that trust is declining across all major institutions, not everyone would agree. In fact, that’s why Trust Across America-Trust Around the World was born almost ten years ago, to help organizations build trust through an almost endless array of web based resources, and to highlight those individuals and organizations working to foster organizational trust.

In November Trust Across America witnessed an unprecedented response to our 8th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust nominations (today’s the last day to enter), with over 20,000 visitors accessing 72,000 pages of material on our website. Just yesterday 843 visitors as diverse as the subject of organizational trust itself stopped by including the NY City Department of Education, Ricoh, AARP, Tel Aviv University and the City & Guilds of London Institute, to name just a few. Last month our blog was read 38,398 times with the most popular downloads being Trust Magazine and our short research piece Return on Trust.

This is encouraging progress in what sometimes feels like an uphill battle against the low trust “news” that bombards us daily.

So I must ask, are you someone who is helping to build trust in your organization or bust it? The business case for high trust organizations has been made time and again… faster decision making, higher innovation, more engaged employees, and higher profitability. Who would say “No” to those advantages? It’s never too late to start, and all you need are a few tools. Our ongoing research shows that those organizations who are already utilizing them are reaping the rewards.

I personally want to thank every one of our readers. While low trust may be both an enormous organizational frustration and barrier, you are the ones making a positive impact in elevating it. Here’s to more trust in 2018!

Interested in learning more? Join our Trust Alliance.

or

Buy our books

or contact me directly: Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep
18

Photo courtesy of www.dondalrymple.com

According to a July 2017 World Economic Forum article about regaining trust in business….

Business is on the brink of distrust.

It is clear that the expectations of business are changing as rapidly as the world around us. Corporations must find a way to lead.

A contemporary CEO cannot afford to ignore this sentiment. The epoch of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a cost of doing business has passed; the era of “doing well by doing good” is upon us. Balancing the profit motive with the creation of societal value is about to become a precondition for the long-term success of any corporation, sector, scale or geographic reach notwithstanding.”

(Note: Trust Across America, through it’s FACTS Framework, developed the scorecard in 2009 and has been tracking and ranking the trustworthiness of the largest 2000 US based public companies since that time.)

So what is the path forward for leaders to regain trust in business? After all, the business case for trust has been proven time and again. Perhaps it boils down to the simple question of who owns trust.

The current SOP in most companies, is to take trust for granted until there is an “issue” and then trust is “delegated” to the “right” silo depending on the nature of the problem:

  • If there is a corporate crisis, the communications and legal team are there to talk about restoring trust after conferring with their PR firm.
  • If it’s a matter of “ethics,” the Chief Compliance Officer steps in.
  • Market share declining? The CMO steps up to tout brand “trust” in its campaign.
  • High employee turnover got you down? Head to HR. After all, they must not have hired “right.” Fire the whole darn department and replace the staff with interview robots. (I kid you not)
  • Unhappy shareholders? Punt to Investor Relations.
  • Giving a speech about building trust in the community? The corporate responsibility and sustainability silos are right on it, once legal signs off.

Got the picture?

Unfortunately, in most companies, no single person or department owns trust and that’s why business is on the brink of distrust. It’s that simple. Imagine running a company without a Chief Financial Officer. How would the job get done? Trust can no longer afford to be treated like a hot potato.

Who should own trust?

No doubt, it’s the CEO. Trust starts at the top, as a directive from the Board, with leadership acknowledgement of its strategic importance. Once that occurs, the day-to- day practice could be delegated to a Chief Trust Officer, who reports directly to the CEO. Imagine the first company bold enough to do this. Did I just say bold? I meant smart and proactive. 

What would the job entail?

  • Review and refine the credo, vision and values, with buy-in from every C-Suite member (and the Board.)
  • Regularly communicate vision and values to all stakeholders and ensure everyone abides by them.
  • Work closely with HR so hiring (and firing) is done according to the standards set forth above.
  • Get trust on the daily docket.  This is an example of how one company does this, and a bit more about driving culture.
  • Enforce a “zero” tolerance policy for trust breaches. Nobody is immune, especially the CEO.

What would the job requirements be?

Someone who lives the holistic concept of doing well by doing good, is a stellar communicator, and has the right combination of personal qualities to rally the troops. Impeccable character, courage, competence and consistency are key. In fact, not all that different from the qualities of a great CEO.

An organization’s chances at long-term success are predicated on the level of trust it builds with all its stakeholders. I can’t think of a more important and timely job title than Chief Trust Officer. Can you?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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