Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Brooks Kimmel’

Dec
07

Ten years ago, in the wake of the financial crisis, I undertook a study of organizational trust. Ten years later, and with the assistance of hundreds of global experts, I offer the following observations gleaned over the past decade.

Organizational trust is built over time and in incremental steps. There are simply no shortcuts.

Trust facts:

Organizational trust is an “inside out” strategy built through…

  1. A shared purpose and tactical vision acknowledging all stakeholders, not just shareholders
  2. A high integrity/high accountability board and CEO
  3. Long-term and corporate-wide intentional trust building strategies
  4. Daily reinforcement
  5. Hiring (and firing) in accordance with corporate values
  6. Rejection of hidden agendas
  7. Vulnerability and a willingness to admit mistakes
  8. Transparency, truth telling and promises kept
  9. Rewarding moral character
  10. Trust measurement and tracking

Recently my colleagues and I have witnessed some “sloppy” use of the word “trust” via short-term thinking attempts to provide quick and easy illusory measurements and solutions.

Trust Fiction:

Trust is not built through…

  1. Delegation of trust building to middle management or online ethics training modules
  2. Expensive and slick PR or “branding” campaigns
  3. CEO activism unrelated to the business
  4. CSR “one off” projects and ESG “check the box” practices
  5. Self-fulfilling surveys, reports and “best of” awards
  6. Philanthropy
  7. Empty apologies, lots of talk and little action
  8. Social media “strategies” and buzz words
  9. More rules and larger legal departments
  10. Short-term share price action

There are no short-term solutions to building a trustworthy business. Attempting to cut corners not only wastes time and resources but damages reputation.  For those Boards and CEOs who want to learn more, check back next week when we offer 12 free tools to elevate trust in every organization, regardless of size, industry or location.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey and many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she became a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright(c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Dec
05

This post has nothing to do with trust… well almost nothing

If I were stranded on a desert island and given one food choice it would be potatoes. Fortunately I can enjoy them in my kitchen, especially during Chanukah. Nothing spells “comfort food” quite like latkes! (And the house will retain the aroma for days).

Over the years I’ve experimented with all sort of recipes and have uncovered several “must dos” for the perfect crispy latke.

The ingredients:

Potatoes, onions, eggs, salt & pepper (no flour, no baking soda)

The secrets: 

  • Combine peeled Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes (preferably organic)
  • Do not use the Cuisinart! Grate by hand with the “large side” of the box grater
  • Have a thin kitchen towel or cheesecloth available to wring out all the liquid from the grated potatoes
  • Grate onion into potatoes after step above
  • Remember the electric frying pan you received as a wedding gift? This is the one time in the year when you should use it! Set temp around 375 degrees.
  • Keep the latkes small. They fry faster, thinner and crispier.
  • I’ve been using organic Canola oil for frying. A little goes a long way and latkes are not greasy.
  • Some apple sauce and sour cream… and maybe a nice glass of wine.
  • Don’t worry about rewarming the leftovers. There won’t be any!

Have I missed any secrets? What’s yours?

Happy Chanukah! Merry Christmas!

Let’s work together to elevate trust in 2019.

And remember, actions speak louder than words.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Cofounder Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

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Nov
23

Trust Across America’s FACTS® Framework: Fast Facts

(a summary of our 10th anniversary 46-page report “Trust & Integrity in Corporate America 2018” )

Introduction: Developed by a cross-silo multidisciplinary team, and in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, the Framework evolved with the goal of creating a long-term model to reduce corporate risk and maximize profitability by measuring trust. With the assistance of professionals from leadership, compliance and ethics, governance, accounting, finance, HR, consulting, corporate social responsibility, ESG, sustainability, and other disciplines, FACTS® was finalized in 2010.

Methodology: Now in its 9th year, Trust Across America performs an independent annual analysis using its rigorous and unique FACTS® Framework. Companies do not participate, nor do they know they are being analyzed.

How we define trust: A byproduct of strong core values that are practiced and reinforced daily.

The FACTS® Framework:

The Framework incorporates proprietary metrics and measures the trust “worthiness” of public companies based on five equally weighted indicators that form the FACTS® acronym: Financial stability, Accounting Conservativeness, Corporate Integrity, Transparency & Sustainability. Additional screens may include but are not limited to fines and violations, percentage of women on the board, CEO pay ratios and tenure, employee reviews and news. Our analysis has never identified a “perfect” company. In fact, on our 1-100 scale, it is unusual for a company to score above an 80%. In 2018, 103 companies in the Russell 1000 scored a 70% or above. The full list is provided in our research report.

Measuring Outcomes and Impacts: On average, and over the long-term, the “Top 10″ most trustworthy public companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by over 25% since inception. In each of the six full years, the selected group has had a higher return than the S&P 500. (June, 2018)

Sector analysis: FACTS® data is sorted by sector and the following chart represents the sector rankings for the Russell 1000 for 2018. FACTS® uses Zacks Investment Research that divides date into 16 sectors. 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.

Comparability: FACTS is a unique proprietary model measuring the trustworthiness of America’s largest (2000+) public companies. Other measurements of trust tend to be silo specific and qualitative, while FACTS® is quantitative and objective.

For more information: Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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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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Nov
06

(A condensed version of this article first appeared on The FCPA Blog)

Recently, the newly appointed CEO of Novartis, Vas Narasimhan, announced that he would be linking employee bonuses to ethics as part of a strategy to rebuild the company’s reputation. Specifics of the scoring system were not divulged. This raises some interesting questions in the trust, ethics and compliance community. Among them, is it ethical to pay people to act ethically or is it a form of bribery? Will these bonuses elevate ethical behavior? What is the minimum “acceptable” behavioral standard to receive a bonus? We asked Trust Across America’s 12-member Trust Council to weigh in. Some of their best answers from both a macro and micro perspective, are provided below.

Ethics is a Company Wide Issue

At Datron, we spend a lot of time in the FCPA world as over 90% of our business is conducted outside the US.  We find that ethics is a company wide issue that encompasses not only your employees but also any organization that represents us in the marketplace.  We have not taken the route of rewarding ethical behavior at the employee level.  We spend the money on training, both in the compliance area and in the “servant” leadership area to ensure that everyone understands the company mission, purpose and how our behaviors (values) are reflected in the work we do.  In our multi-cultural company with over 80 representatives around the world we take compliance to all entities that interface with our customers at any level.  This means that our annual FCPA training is required and annual anti-bribery statements are completed by both employees and our representative companies.  In addition we require all of our representatives to hold current Trace International certifications.  If these items are not completed as required we don’t do business with that organization and don’t let our employee interface with the customer.

In general I would recommend that leaders know what would work best for their organizations.  I personally would not take the approach Novartis has taken just because paying money for a required behavior is too much like a bribe and I believe it sends the wrong message to the organization.  It also says that it is ok to act unethically we just won’t provide you a bonus if you do.  I think requiring behavior in accordance with the company values is a better long-term solution.

I believe that a focus on culture, understanding why it is important for the organization to conduct itself in accordance with it’s core values and spending training dollars to ensure this each and every day is a better investment than providing an annual bonus award.  Art Barter

Influencing Human Behavior

This approach is a good idea for Novartis. We can’t change human nature—there will always be some unethical people. But we can influence human behavior. We influence human behavior through many means: education and training, personal examples and role models, good leadership, shared norms and values, rewards and punishments, and more. Good companies reward (or punish) employees with scoring systems for both achieving goals (results) and “how” those goals are achieved. Scoring a 1 on values and behavior at Novartis (1 = below expectations) makes an employee ineligible to receive a bonus and likely signals they may face demotion or termination. It is a realistic way to grab people’s attention that unethical behavior will no longer be tolerated at this firm. Bob Vanourek

Systematizing Ethical Practices

I applaud Novartis’ efforts to encourage and systematize ethical behavior. Behaving ethically should be the “ticket of admission” for even having a job, but many organizations don’t view it that way. Novartis is taking proactive steps to enforce consequences for salespeople who don’t meet expectations. Randy Conley

Innovation is Key

To determine the best ways to make progress on the trust, transparency and ethics road we have to innovate. To develop proven, repeatable and scalable strategies we all have to be bold enough to try. Novartis is trying. We don’t know the context or risk appetite they are working from so it is hard to objectively review their strategy. To innovate well we have to accept failure and partial successes, learn, pivot and go at it again. The fact that organizations are trying is, in my mind, the thing of value. They will engage in many critical conversations around this project and that dialogue with their employees, partners and board is priceless in the fight for ethics. Deb Krizmanich

Discussing Ethics

Ethical performance — good or bad — is an intrinsic aspect of organizational culture, While company value statements, codes of conduct and compliance training are essential components of an ethical culture, even more important is how organizations react to ethical dilemmas and lapses.  When discussions about ethics are taboo, and individuals are rewarded for unethically achieved results, the culture quickly adapts to this reality without regard to official policy.  In this respect, Novartis is on the right track by explicitly withholding rewards for employees who behave unethically.  Even more telling will be whether discussion of ethics is normalized and unethical behaviors consistently derail careers at the company. Barton Alexander

Payments for Behaving Ethically

There is something prima facie anti-ethical about paying people money to behave ethically. If you have to be paid to be ethical, you’re not. And by reducing ethics to behavioral inducements, the system devalues the ethicality of all actions, regardless of their objective desirability. This reduces ethics to the category of compliance and sales quotas. Charles H. Green

The Devil is in the Details 

Whether the Novartis plan is a good idea to resolve the ethical dry rot is debatable. The devil is in the details, but I would raise a caution flag.  Essentially they are saying that meeting expectations or being a role model for ethical behavior will earn employees extra pay, while not meeting expectations means you get no extra pay, and it could lead to termination. I also do not agree that bringing in Klaus Moosmayer from Siemens to be the ethics tsar is going to make up for poor leadership at the top. Bob Whipple

A further Internet search of the Novartis bonus “plan” revealed the following “anonymous” comment:

This has been in place for over two years. Probably just touting this in the news because of all the recent violations. Reps don’t get an additional bonus. They have money withheld from each bonus period and if their manager sees fit and gives them a good rating, they may or may not get all the money back. So Novartis actually takes money and holds it for a year. Some reps get back more but a lot will actually get back less. The kicker is, they have to still be employed to get that money and it’s only paid out once a year and it’s supposed to be about values and behaviors but it’s still tied to sales. 

The Trust Council jury is split with regard to the ethics of ethics bonuses. To be meaningful ethics and trust must remain a top-down strategy built from the inside out, and only then will they have a long-term impact on organizational reputation.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s Trust Council is an invitation-only advisory group comprised of global business leaders and consultants from a broad cross section of industries and functions who are rotated through membership in our Trust Alliance. The Council serves for twelve months.

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
17

October 17, 2018:

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World announces the Country Trust Index™, the first ranking of national trustworthiness 

Today, the Carnegie Council is celebrating its 5th annual Global Ethics Day, with organizations, including TAA-TAW joining forces to recognize ethics as an essential societal imperative.

What better day to announce our new rankings, honoring countries that are putting their citizens first.

For almost ten years Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW) has been tracking the trustworthiness of America’s largest public companies through a proprietary ranking framework called FACTS®. The Framework measures companies on five indicators of trust using independent third party data. Companies do not know they are being ranked, nor do they participate in our analysis. We recently published a 10th anniversary research report called “Trust & Integrity in Corporate America 2018” summarizing not only our findings, but those of over twenty major institutions who have been studying the impact of trust and ethics on business success.

Piggybacking on the release of our 2018 Trust Alliance Principles (TAP) this past spring TAA-TAW assembled a small global team of Trust Alliance members to advise on creating a similar ranking system for countries, using FACTS® as the framework, and aggregating the most current data from reputable third party providers. We identified fourteen indicators of societal trustworthiness including corruption, competition, reputation, sustainability, economic freedom, healthcare and women’s rights, to name just a few. The data was culled from global organizations including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, The Heritage Foundation, The World Health Organization and Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. This comprehensive data collection and fact finding process allowed us to create the 2018 rankings. Almost seventy countries were analyzed with scores ranging from 66 to 1432. The lower the score, the higher the country ranked. Incomplete data precluded some countries from being included.

Switzerland wins by a landslide scoring a “66” and making the “top five” in ten of the fourteen categories. The country’s lowest score was in healthcare, ranking #20. After Switzerland, the scores took a relatively steep drop. The “Top 5” countries are listed in descending order:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Canada
  5. Sweden

The United States ranks #20 with a total score of 369, and a relatively poor showing in reputation, healthcare and safety.

Some of the countries trailing the Country Trust Index™ rankings include:

Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, China, Russia and Nigeria.

While this index may reveal some surprises, similar to our FACTS® Framework ranking of public companies, it’s purpose is to highlight the “best in breed.” Whether one is thinking about or discussing companies or countries, elevating trust and ethics is a win/win for all stakeholders.

To view the full rankings please visit www.trustacrossamerica.com and click on the “Research” tab or access directly at this link.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey and many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she became a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc. All rights reserved.

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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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Sep
12

Having studied trust for over ten years, one thing has become crystal clear. When people trust you (or your brand), their confidence in you (and your products) will increase, and they will be more inclined to do business with you.

Salesforce Research (2018) surveyed over 6,700 consumers and business buyers globally to better understand the modern customer mindset. What do these new norms mean for companies that are vying for their business and their trust? Much of this experience is rooted in trust: 95% of customers say that if they trust a company, they’re more likely to be loyal patrons.

LinkedIn claims to have more than 500 million users in 200 countries, and it can be a very powerful marketing tool, IF it is used properly. The following are ten tips to build trust on LinkedIn:

  1. Begin with a clearly defined “principle based” LinkedIn marketing strategy, making the focus your targeted customer base, not you.
  2. Communicate authentically. Your 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 an announcement of your next speaking engagement.
  4. Every post should focus on solving customer (or potential customer) problems.
  5. Share relevant, high quality content, even if it is from a competitor. Shine a spotlight on thought leadership written and posted by employees.
  6. Remain humble. Don’t get caught in the insincere “honored” and “humbled” trap to promote your upcoming gig or your most recent award.
  7. Before 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.
  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 brand. (And instead of simply “liking” a post, leave a thoughtful comment.)

Having been an active LinkedIn member for many years, the balance may be shifting away from thought leadership towards a new (and free) form of billboard advertising. If this perception is accurate, LinkedIn will surely (and quickly) lose its value as a marketing tool.

In summary, if the focus is simply “You,” maybe it’s time to rethink your LinkedIn marketing 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 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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Aug
12

Why should Boards and their CEOs focus on building stakeholder trust? Our FACTS® Framework calculates the trustworthiness of US based public companies, and we have issued an annual report of our findings since 2012.

On average, the “Top 10″ most trustworthy public companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by over 30% annually. 

That’s why.

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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Aug
04

 

A simple message for the C-Suite…

Rules, regulations and policies are not substitutes for trust, ethics or corporate responsibility.

I would like to pose one question to each of the following five CEOs whose organizations hijacked my time this week:

JP Morgan Chase and Jamie Dimon: Do you think your policy of cancelling a widow’s credit card within two weeks of the death of their spouse, and with no notice, is the “right thing” to do simply because they are not the “primary?” It hasn’t been too long since you lost your parents. What if it was your mother who had been embarrassed at CVS over an $8.00 purchase on her Chase credit card?

Comcast and Brian Roberts: If I must have a landline for Triple Play, might you have an ethical responsibility to find a way to stop the dozens of robocalls that plague me every day? Surely, the expense of doing so would be far less than the “intangible” customer loyalty that could be quickly built.

Wolverine and Blake Krueger: Do you want to build or bust trust with your customers?  Your reps are demanding that I first buy a new pair of Sperrys online, cut the tongues out of my existing loafers, send you a picture, and then your company will reimburse me for YOUR shoes that fell apart 4 weeks after purchasing them. Why would I EVER buy another pair of shoes from you again?

State Farm and Michael Tipsord: When did you decide that cutting corners in hiring and training, (and probably hourly wages) in your claims department was “good” ethics, and do they get a bonus for making stuff up?

Blue Cross of NJ and Kevin Conlin (who recently replaced Robert Marino:) Do you care that your customers are miserable because you get so few things right? The most recent example being when you denied coverage because “another policy was in place” even though a termination letter was provided to you. A simple check of your internal records would have revealed that the “old” policy was also with YOUR company. Now the loyal customer has NO coverage due to your internal snafu.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and its Trust Alliance has recently published a set of universal Principles called TAP. One of the 12 principles is Purpose:

We engage our stakeholders to build shared purpose – we avoid short term “wins” that undermine future success.

You can read more about TAP in the latest issue of TRUST! Magazine.

After 10+ years of studying organizational trust, one thing is for certain. Trust and ethics are a “top-down” strategy. Without buy-in from the CEO, watch out below and “buyer beware.” The silver lining…not all companies (or their leaders) are created equal. Some have proactively embraced elevating stakeholder trust and ethics, and they are reaping the long-term rewards.

Who do you think will be the first of the five CEOs to publicly respond? Do you have any examples (good or bad) that you would like to add to this list?

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.

Photo Attribution: Alpha Stock Images – alphastockimages.com/

 

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