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Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books.  TRUST INC., Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts. Six months later we released our second book, Trust Inc. A Guide for Boards & C-SuitesIn this book, sixty experts have joined forces to offer 100 strategies.

Throughout the month of August, we will be featuring 31 essays from our second book. Each stands alone as an excellent resource in guiding Boards and C-Suites on driving a trust agenda at the highest level in the organization, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust-building programs in their organization.

This eighteenth essay brings advice from Carol Sanford, The Responsibility Expert. Carol is an Educator and Advisor to Fortune 100 CEOs and New Economy businesses like DuPont, Google and Seventh Generation. She is the CEO of The Responsible Entrepreneur Institute and Author, The Responsible Business and The Responsible Entrepreneur. Carol is also a 2014 Top Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business and a founding member of the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts. You can read more about her here.


Trust and Strategy Thinking

Most strategy is disembodied from people in the organization. It is hard to trust what you cannot relate to or worse, feel at the mercy of.

The rank and file sees strategy most often as something management is responsible for and I just do my job. If it is not owned, then all initiatives are seen as arbitrary and self-interested on the part of management. People feel a pawn in the game.

A trustworthy strategic thinking and execution process evokes caring and contribution. Everyone has to see the same value and be able to personally interpret the direction and decisions that are involved.

How to do that: Make all initiatives and measures come from the customer’s success, not the companies alone. Trust happens when people feel they are in pursuit of a goal together and that is has meaning. Every individual contribution can be connected to the customer or consumer’s life if you take the time. The best way to accomplish this is by measuring what the customer measures and has each functional unit and individual contribution determine what they do for the customer’s achievement of that goal. Consider how they, themselves, will measure success.

Now people can trust because it feels like it is about making a difference, not being manipulated by management. Read stories about Fortune 100 and new economy businesses who are changing how they do strategy as a trust building process.


I hope you have enjoyed this next sneak peak into our second book. If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order both of our books online.

And for those who want to catch up on the series, a quick reference on what’s been covered so far this month:

August 1: There’s a Reason Why We Call Them Trustees explains why being an “absentee landlord” doesn’t work.

August 2: Kill the Evening Before Dinner and take a small group of front line employees to dinner instead.

August 3: In Head of Business- Hope for the World we introduce the Winston “V” Model.

August 4: Reputation vs. Trust and why leaders should care more about the latter.

August 5: C-Suite Must Speak With a V.O.I.C.E. of Trust, a new communications model.

August 6: It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way You Do It) discusses an organization’s core values and traits.

August 7: Superficial CEOs and Their Boards talks about the fiduciary responsibility of board members.

August 8: Headline: Be the Leaders Others Will Follow we learn about consistency between actions and words.

August 9: Towards a Mindset for Corporate Responsibility requiring a shift in mindset on the part of boards.

August 10: Warning: Don’t Drown in the Slogan Swamp explores the (mis)use of slogans in corporate America.

August 11: Trust in the Boardroom in creating competitive advantage.

August 12: Three Ways to Build Trust  and organization that are blind to the dialogue.

August 13: Lead from the Front explains why it’s important to remove the filters between leaders and employees.

August 14: Building Trust For Boards & C-Suites and why published scientific evidence is important.

August 15: (Trust) Communication & the Hiring Process discusses engaging employees in the decision.

August 16: CEO Tip: Trust Your Board as Your Ally emphasizes the importance of trusting partnerships.

August 17: The Culture is the Secret Sauce that must bubble down from the Boardroom to the Mailroom

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

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Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

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