Archive

Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Oct
27

Have you watched the news lately? I tuned in yesterday for the first time in over two months, which prompted me to write this article.

If you are currently residing in the US there is a good chance that you are choosing to get your news from either Fox or CNN, depending on your political views. From a trust perspective, does it matter at all which one you watch?

 

 

The world’s citizens are suffering not only from 2020 COVID 19 fatigue, but also from the long-term fallout of a host of never ending global trust breaches in government and business. Unfortunately for all of us, the news does not appear to be improving, at least not what’s being reported. Since panic agendas seem to matter more to the media than facts, should we believe what is being reported? In other words, can the media be trusted?

I decided to put the industry to the test using our universal TAP Principles. They have now been accessed by almost 150,000 global professionals. Why don’t you do the same to determine if you should trust the media?

 

Take a minute to answer “Yes” or “No” to each of these questions:

Truth– Is telling the truth more important to the media than a panic agenda or monetary gain?

Accountability– Is the media holding itself accountable and taking responsibility regardless of affiliation?

Purpose– Is the media engaging others to build shared purpose to avoid short-term wins?

Integrity– Is the media committed to accuracy in pursuit of the facts?

Notice- Is the media seeking out, listening to and reporting on diverse perspectives?

Talent– Is the media rewarding moral character?

Openness– Is the media open and ready to learn?

Transparency– Is the media rejecting hidden agendas?

Respect– Is the media respectful of each other?

Understanding– Does the media not only celebrate its successes but also report on its failures?

Safety- Does the media call out all unethical behavior and make it safe to be honest?

Tracking– Does the media scorecard their performance against their values?

 

What was your final “Yes” and “No” answer count?

Can you think of any news media that would score a passing grade of 60% or more?

Should we trust the media to report COVID 19 information accurately, or any news for that matter?

And before you go, substitute the word “media” for “government” and then “business” and see if your results change.

Can our trust deficit be fixed? Given the right tools it’s not difficult. Whether it’s the media, government or business, it always begins with leadership, and that remains the greatest challenge, and the biggest opportunity.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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Oct
15
What is trust? 
Find out in this informal 5-minute Zoom discussion with Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and Shona Elliott.
Access the full 40-minute interview addressing the following questions and many more on our YouTube channel.
  • What is trust and how is it built in teams and organizations?
  • What are the major barriers leaders and teams face in building trust?
  • How can leaders proactively build trust?
  • How can they mend it after a crisis?
Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Oct
06

Nominations are now open for Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s 11th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust.

 

 

 

Announcement of honorees will be made in January 2021 via TRUST! Magazine.

This unique program celebrates global professionals advancing the cause of trust.
How can you get involved?
Share this page link with others who may be qualified and interested.
Send along a suggestion of someone worthy of our consideration.
Nominate yourself or someone else (or have someone nominate you).
If you use our free resources, now is the time to show your support with a small donation. Visit our homepage and scroll down on the right.
Advertise in our upcoming annual honors announcement in January. Contact me for details.
Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Sep
09

Do you work on a team where both leaders and colleagues hide their true intentions?

The outcome of hidden agendas is distrust and inertia, as goals become guesswork and the fear of making a mistake increases.

 

 

 

Last week, as part of our Zoom Lunch & Learn members of our Trust Alliance convened to discuss the topic of team trust, transparency & hidden agendas. We addressed four questions during the hour:

  1. How do you define the role of transparency in the context of a team? (We define it as follows: We reject hidden agendas. We are transparent wherever and whenever possible.)
  2. What causes hidden agendas?
  3. How can transparency be elevated within a team?
  4. Why is transparency frequently cited as the main cause of low trust, even though it is not?

What did our Trust Alliance members have to say about Question #3? How can transparency be elevated within a team?

The following were some of the key take aways:

  1. Both leadership and team transparency “rules” must be clear with no ambiguity.
  2. Lack of rules around transparency creates a lack of respect, often leading to either acquiescence or a challenge to decision making.
  3. Heightened transparency keeps team members more honest, efficient, innovative and collaborative.
  4. Have a policy of openness (not to be confused with transparency.) Always share as much as you can.
  5. Avoid lumping other trust busting behaviors into the transparency category. Know how to identify them and address them separately.
  6. Uncomfortable conversations are okay. People are resilient and able to absorb negative news.
  7. Elevating interpersonal skills like listening enhances transparency.
  8. Complaints and their resolutions should be shared with employees.
  9. Cowardice in some industries allows leaders to hide behind regulations as an excuse for lack of transparency.
  10. Addressing transparency issues in family businesses requires a different skill set.

 

A final comment:

While courageous and empowered cultures have fewer transparency challenges, transparency alone won’t get a team to the trust “finish line.” In fact, transparency is only 1 of 12 behaviors that elevate trust in teams and organizations. And in the many organizations we have surveyed, transparency is not the #1 cause of low trust. To find out what is, spend 1 minute answering this question and see the results from over 500 respondents.

For more information on how to assess the level of trust on your team or in your organization Tap into Trust and access our simple survey tools.
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To participate in future Lunch & Learns, apply to join our vetted Trust Alliance. Our next session is September 23.
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Thank you to Bart Alexander, David Belden, Natalie Doyle Oldfield, Charlie Green, Nadine Hack, Olivia Mathijsen and Bob Whipple for your insights. Until next time!
Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Aug
25

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Say you’re sorry.” As a child, how often did you hear those words from parents and teachers? While apologies become even more “complex” in adulthood, have you stopped to consider the role they play in trust repair?  This week, as part of our Zoom Lunch & Learn series seven members of our Trust Alliance convened to discuss the topic of apologies in a session called “I’m sorry…but.”

Prior to meeting, I provided the group with the following insights shared by one of our members:  
It’s been almost four decades since Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol crisis, and public affairs professionals have been fixated on the “apologize” model.  Whenever a company is attacked, they recommend that trust can be rebuilt only by an immediate apology. Yet there have been critics of this approach, most notably renowned crisis manager Eric Dezenhall.  In his 2007 book Damage Control, subtitled “What Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong,” Dezenhall argues that not all situations are the same, that not all apologies are the same, and that the costs and benefits of the apology must be carefully evaluated.
Through the lens of trust, the apology plays a particularly important role, which may be to restore, build or further undermine trust. The apology is no panacea that fixes broken trust; at best, it is one step in an ongoing process.  

Our discussion extended beyond apologies at the organizational or corporate level. We reviewed interpersonal apologies as well.

The following are some of the key take aways:

  • The purpose of an apology is to repair a damaged relationship, whether it is between two people or at the leadership/ corporate level, and there must be a desire to do so.
  • Apologies must have a unifying quality with no “conditions” or “buts.”
  • Authentic apologies must contain an acknowledgement of harm and a commitment to a behavioral change. (Example: A husband is caught cheating on his wife. The apology must go beyond, “I’m sorry for hurting you” to “I promise you I will never do it again.”)
  • Apologies should not be confused with taking responsibility. (Example: Johnson & Johnson followed their credo and took responsibility after the Tylenol crisis. They did not apologize.)
  • Victims need validation more than an apology.
  • Apologies are words. Trust is built through actions. A plan must be announced with specifics. Simply saying we “hope to regain your trust” is worthless.
  • Trust can be built only after lasting changes have been made. Remember, actions always speak louder than words.
  • Ethical actions not only reduce the need for apologies, they also raise awareness of the benefits of principled behavior. Incivility, sarcasm and humiliation have no place in relationships inside or outside the office. In fact, they are breeding grounds for reducing trust and increasing the odds of a crisis.
  • Consider what is happening in the relationship that creates the need for an apology. What internal changes should be made to modify the dynamic and prevent future crises? Without an internal culture of responsibility and accountability, there WILL be crises and regardless of whether or not an apology is given, there will not be a change in behavior to correct things.

A few additional thoughts the intersection of apologies and trust for leaders and organizations facing a crisis:

  • While most companies have a mission or vision “statement”, quarterly reviews based on financial returns still rule the day. This creates the perfect storm for a crisis. Leaders then delegate the apology and trust repair “fix” to their corporate communications/PR team, instead of taking ownership. Wells Fargo is the poster child for this approach which fails every time.
  • Most business leaders are unaware of the independent variables or behaviors that create trust. If they don’t defer to PR, they defer to “legal” who are trained in risk, not trust.
  • Spontaneous conversations about reputation rarely occur until reputation is in the ditch. Reputation management, like crisis management, like employee engagement are really PR terms rather than management terms. That’s why they’re not seriously a part of management’s vocabulary. Trust is a management word. Integrity is a management word. Civility and decency aren’t really management words.
  • One of my favorite questions in these circumstances is,” what would your mother’s say if they were in the room right now, after they slapped you in the head and told you that you were not the kid they raised.”
  • An attack on trust/a crisis means that the organization performed below expectations of at least one of its stakeholders. An organization can have a crisis with one stakeholder that does not impact others. For example, HP had a governance issue that caused it to apologize to investors with plans for how it would be avoided in the future, but it did not register with customers.
In conclusion, consider this:
Individuals, leaders and trustworthy organizations who are in the enviable position of having built trust over time, will be more easily forgiven for what may be viewed as a genuine or unavoidable mistake instead of an ethical lapse. This not only increases the chances of surviving future crises, it prevents the majority of those crises from happening at all.
For more information on how to assess the level of trust in your organization and reduce those apology “moments” Tap into Trust and access our simple survey tools.
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To participate in future Lunch & Learns, apply to join our vetted Trust Alliance.
Thank you to Bart Alexander, David Belden, Lea Brovedani, Charles Feltman, Nadine Hack, Jim Lukaszewski and Elliot Schreiber for your insights. Until next time!
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Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

 

 

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Aug
11

“Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time.”– Arthur Ashe

 

 

 

Performing a quick review of recent news headlines on trust repair and restoration returns the following results:

Restore Trust in Science

Pittsburgh Diocese to do More to Restore Trust

Can a Blockchain Timestamp Help Rebuild Trust

Fair and Unbiased Reporting Will Restore Trust in Media

Mayor Peter Gets Hired by Notre Dame to Restore Trust in Politics

Zuckerberg Has a Lot of Work To do To Restore Public Trust in Facebook

These headlines might lead the average reader to believe that, at one point, the referenced societal institutions had built trust and have now lost it. For others including me, they are a naive attention grabbing media tool, serving no purpose and misleading most readers. It’s simply not possible to rebuild or restore something that was ignored during the organizational construction phase.

Building trust should never be used as a crisis response or news headline following a reputation hit.

Trust doesn’t work that way. It is always proactive, intentional and deliberate and trust is built:

  • Through ethical and principled behavior modeled by leadership
  • From the inside out
  • Over time
  • In incremental steps

A strong foundation of trust supports an even stronger “trust bank account” and ensures that reputation hits will be minimized and repair will be easy and inexpensive. It also brings many collateral benefits including:

  • Elevated employee engagement and retention
  • Reduced workplace stress
  • Improved stakeholder relationships
  • More innovation
  • Better accountability, transparency and communication
  • Reduced costs and elevated profits

Unfortunately the current global crisis has revealed the level to which most leaders across all societal institutions from science to business, have ignored the organizational risks that their low trust environments have created. Many are now faced with the monumental task of climbing their way out of the “trust repair trap.”  While it’s never too late to start building trust, it must begin with leadership acknowledgement that the crisis response strategy to trust does not work. It never did.

Those interested in proactively elevating trust can choose to:

  1. Join our global Trust Alliance
  2. Tap into Trust and join almost 150,000 global professionals who have already done so
  3. Use our AIM assessment tools to start a trust discussion
  4. Host a virtual trust building workshop
  5. Or drop a note to Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

 

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Aug
04

Having studied and observed trust building and trust busting behavior for over ten years, what’s crystal clear is that when people trust you, their confidence in you will increase, and they will be more inclined to do business with you.

 

 

LinkedIn claims to have more than 700 million users in 200 countries, and the platform can be a very powerful business tool, IF your goal is to build trust with your connections. The following are ten tips on how to do this.

  1. Begin with a clearly defined “ethics based” LinkedIn strategy, with the focus being your connections not you.
  2. Communicate authentically. Your values, beliefs and principles must align with your actions.
  3. Become the “go to” person in your area of expertise by publishing well-written original thought leadership pieces rather than announcing your next podcast or speaking engagement.
  4. Every post should represent added value to your readers or be solutions based.
  5. Share relevant, high quality content, even if it is from a competitor. Shine a spotlight on valuable material, regardless of who wrote it.
  6. Remain humble. Don’t tell your audience how “honored” or “humbled” you are while promoting your upcoming gig or your most recent award. That’s just insincere self-interest.
  7. Before publishing your next post answer this question: “Who cares (other than you and your mother)?”
  8. Engage your audience by asking them for input and feedback, and be sure to acknowledge every response.
  9. In this age of rapidly evolving social “activism” pick your photo captions carefully. For example, does your photo show a room full of men with no female presence? Does it just show you?
  10. You are the company you keep. Make sure the posts you are “liking” reflect positively on your values. (And instead of simply “liking” a post, leave a thoughtful comment.)

And now for a few surefire ways to bust trust really fast…

  1. Connecting with the sole purpose of selling something to your “prospect”
  2. Pretending in your initial connection request that you have something (undefined) in common.
  3. Immediately upon connecting, filling the recipient’s inbox with all sorts of “stuff” about how great you are.
  4. Having a profile that screams “amateur”: Words and phrases like guru, influencer, disruptor, rebel, world-renowned, life coach, Lion, Forbes and Inc. contributor… and best-selling author.
  5. Same goes for credentials- fake PhD’s and questionable experience are easy to spot and even easier to verify.
  6. Being a bragger about your latest upcoming “gig” and then having all your friends say “Congrats!”
  7. Ignoring comments, or better yet, deleting them if you disagree or think they might take the attention away from you.
  8. Trolling LinkedIn and inciting controversy.
  9. Showing zero interest in getting to know your new connections, even when they message you.
  10. Adding your LI connections to your mailing list without permission.

Having been an active LinkedIn member for many years, the balance is shifting away from thought leadership towards billboard advertising. If this is accurate, LinkedIn will surely (and quickly) lose its stature as a valuable business tool. In fact, I’ve spent the past several months deleting hundreds of self-promoting LinkedIn connections.

In summary, if the focus is simply “You,” maybe it’s time to rethink your LinkedIn strategy. Start by making “trust building” your core focus.

What other suggestions do you have for building trust on LinkedIn? Leave your comments.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright 2020 Next Decade, Inc.

PS- Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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Jun
02

With the right mindset (and tools) leaders can build trust in a new work environment.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Over the past few months, members of our Trust Alliance have participated in a series of Lunch & Learns. Our global membership crosses every organizational silo and we rarely view organizational trust through the same lens. Sharing our cultural perspectives and trust expertise has elevated our understanding of the nuances of this increasingly relevant and timely topic.

Working from home is just one of many “new” realities facing business leaders during this pandemic. These realities have exposed the lack of leadership acknowledgement of the role trust plays in organizational success. Now more than ever leaders MUST develop intentional trust-building strategies that are internally driven.

So once again, we reached out to our Alliance members, asking for their perspective on the trust challenges leaders should be addressing right now, and any examples of those who are stepping up to meet them.

Leaders Must Extend Trust to their Employees

According to David Belden, one of the most transformational aspects of the pandemic is the transition of the workforce to remote functioning. In working with over 400 companies for the past 22 years, the major hindrance in this transformation has been a lack of trust from leadership towards employees. Companies have traditionally felt that if they could not directly monitor their workforce, the work would not get done.

The current crisis has forced a change in that view. The results have been nothing less than astounding. In recent surveys, over 70%  reported that, given the choice, they would continue to work remotely. Concurrently, companies are reporting an unexpected increase in productivity.

 There are two critical aspects for a successful transition to remote work:

  1. Absolute clarity regarding the expected outcome. The focus has to be on outcome/results rather than hours worked.
  2. Line of sight on the part of the employee between the goal of the company and his or her personal contribution in attaining that goal.

When these two prerequisites are met, the company has to trust that the employee will fulfill their agreed upon duties. The employee must trust that the company will act in the best interests of all of the stakeholders, particularly the employees. Without mutual trust, this new arrangement will not succeed.

Trustworthiness is a 2-way street with the leader and the team adds Kevin McCarthy. COVID19 is a tough shift in every aspect of our lives and lifestyles. Such times reveal us–particularly our varying personal health conditions, risk profiles and preferences.  Leaders who acknowledge and respect these differences may honor them by providing team members, where practical, a transitional period to continue to work from home or return to the workplace as each person sees fit. Likewise, willing, but financially disincentivized,  team members drawing unemployment compensation greater than or equal to their pay can do their civic duty by returning to the workforce for the common good of their co-workers, company, and country.

Elevating Trust Requires Acknowledging Uncertainty

Bart Alexander reminds leaders that crises often result in debilitating uncertainty.  By saying “It’s too early, we just don’t know,” organizations reinforce collective and individual stress, even panic.  Companies can translate uncertainty into manageable  risk by openly sharing their best judgement, as in, “This is the worst case, this is the best case, and this is the most likely case, and if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know.”  Adding the probability of each scenario will help all to be on the same page and begin to prepare.  Open solicitation of ideas on how to best adapt further engages the entire organization into a shared future.

And Lea Brovedani supports these sentiments and provides an example. Leaders should be acknowledging uncertainty and showing their own humanity. They should tell what they know, what they don’t know and still take action. At this time, they need to model the duality of feeling uncertain and showing how to keep moving forward.

The first business leader that comes to mind is Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive who instructed people to work from home well before most other companies. He acknowledged feeling uncertain and worried, talking about his son who has cerebral palsy and the worries he and his wife have.

Here is a quote from an article written in the Seattle Times:

Nadella gave the interview shortly before releasing a lengthy email to his more than 140,000 employees worldwide, applauding them for their response to the pandemic and urging them to do the best they can to help others on a personal and professional level...

Nadella said in his email that Microsoft is in a position to help slow the pandemic by demonstrating leadership in the face of adversity and maximizing the company’s biggest strength — bringing people, ideas and solutions together quickly through tech. He mentioned the company’s work to bring “trusted news and facts” about COVID-19 to LinkedIn members and on Bing, while working with Facebook, Google and Twitter to bring “authoritative content” to those platforms and “combat fraud and misinformation about the virus.

Trust Will be Predicated on Employee Engagement

Ben Boyd recently wrote an article called “The COVID case for stakeholder capitalism – and the elevated role of corporate communications.” He had this to say about employees and the future of engagement. Employees have shown incredible resiliency, enduring extraordinary and ongoing change. Their continued engagement and commitment are critical to meeting the future needs and demands of the business; however, their expectations have changed over these past four months. Developing programs to engage, motivate, reassure and rebuild an organization’s workforce must be a top priority. Key questions to consider are: How will you address employees’ most basic needs related to personal safety and company hygiene? Moving toward the “next normal,” how will you assess employees’ evolving needs and expectations to ensure your leaders are authentically and empathetically connecting with the workforce?    

And finally my thoughts. Business leaders have many tough decisions ahead of them. Hopefully they also have the skill set to engage their employees to help make them. Our current climate of fear has revealed just how much leaders in all societal institutions have taken trust for granted.  In business, not only do employees fear for their physical and emotional safety, but also for the future of their jobs. In other words, they don’t trust their employers to keep them safe. Perhaps it’s the emotional element of trust (some call it benevolence) that are even more critical now in allaying those fears. Hard skills like leadership competence are no longer sufficient. In fact, they haven’t ever been. Emotional intelligence, an ethical mindset and empathy are the “soft” skills that build trust. Who returns to work and how to manage social distancing are the easy problems, and the ones that most C-Suite advisors will tackle first. They will also be the ones that are promoted in stakeholder communications. And if the emotional elements that have created the “fear” are not  given equal weight, then we will simply return to the pre pandemic levels of low employee engagement and increasingly challenging mental health issues, while sitting six feet apart.  Those “hard” decisions are the ones that will continue to separate authentic trustworthy leaders from all others. For the rest, it will be business as “usual” with a few minor and inconvenient adjustments that are the easiest to communicate.

 

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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May
26

Leadership ultimately comes down to creating conditions of trust within an organization.

Colin Powell

 

 

 

In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Trust Insight comes courtesy of Colin Powell. During this brief and concise video, Powell discusses the role trust plays in leadership:

Powell’s timeless “rules” of leadership were first printed in the August 13, 1989 issue of Parade magazine and are reproduced below.

13 Rules of Leadership

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

 

Please stop by our website for additional organizational trust resources, or schedule a call to learn how we can help elevate trust in your leadership team and among employees in your organization.

Did you know that over 137,000 global professionals have Tapped into Trust? Have you?

 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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May
05


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

“Trust is not a message; it’s an outcome – and trust may not even be the real issue.” Robert Phillips

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this timely insight?

For way too long, “trust” has been hijacked by communications consultancies and strategy firms, who see/ position the trust “issue” and how to address it as a function of what the organisations says, rather than what it does. They sell strategies and programmes accordingly.  Together with reliance on some dodgy data, this leads to a bogus and corrosive narrative around trust: often creating a false sense of (global) crisis. This masks more profound issues and challenges and many cultural and political nuances.

Organisations would do better by focusing on their own behaviours and on the real issues (including the climate emergency and tech disruption) that lead to better outcomes for employees, customers and stakeholders. Furthermore, trustworthiness is a more relevant construct than “trust”. Trustworthiness is a function of Honesty + Competence + Reliability + Good. It is undermined by self-interest, especially where such self-interest is not transparently declared.

 

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

The Global Responsible Tax Project curated by Jericho Chambers for KPMG, has been running since 2014. Based on organising principles of activism, participation, accountability and dissent, it now hosts a community of 1700 experts, built peer-to-peer, from the Global North to Global South and across the political spectrum – including corporate leaders; advisors; politicians and policy-makers; activists, NGOs and campaigners; academics and experts; media and the commentariart. This global coalition has worked together to develop new policy ideas and recommendations – leading to more trust between all parties and better policy outcomes for the common good. It’s starting point was that any solution to global tax problems were better served by addressing the purpose of tax, than communications and lobbying around the issues, and that no-one has all the answers. Tax is trust, write large – as this article brings to life.

 

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

IpsosMORI long-term veracity data would suggest that trust remains in a chronic condition. The so-called “crisis of trust” masks a more profound crisis of leadership – in business and in politics. A failure to address the leadership issue will only prolong and never resolve the current condition.

 

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

No, although a recognition of the chronic condition (see above) is important, as is a determination to do something about it.

 

Robert, 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?

Robert has been at the forefront of the UK Public Relations industry for three decades. His expert area is the relationship between communications, leadership and trust. 

Robert’s 2015 book Trust Me, PR is Dead was heralded by Management Today as “a game-changer for the future of communications”. His often-outspoken views have been described as “essential for anyone who wants to influence and persuade in the mid-21st century”. Since 2014, Robert has helped build coalitions across business, government and civil society on subjects ranging from Responsible Tax to the Future of Work; Adult Social Care to the Future of Transport; Infrastructure and Housing to the Built Environment. Robert advocates new operating principles based on activism, accountability, co-production and dissent.

Robert is Founder of Jericho Chambers and Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, City, University of London. He was formerly CEO, Europe, Middle East & Africa for Edelman – the world’s largest Public Relations firm – and Global Chair of its Future Strategies & Public Engagement Group. He co-founded JCPR in 1987 – described by PR Week as “the seminal consumer brands consultancy of the Nineties and Noughties” – which he sold to Edelman in 2004. Two of Robert’s campaigns, for Wonderbra and PlayStation, were included in the Top 20 PR Campaigns of All Time.

 

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

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