Posts Tagged ‘trust in business’


What makes trust such a complicated subject?

Could it be the simple fact that most conversations that claim to focus on trust are really about something else?

A few weeks ago I listened to three podcasts with “trust” in the title. Two of the guests (not the hosts) were members of our Trust Alliance, while the third was the host, an individual with expertise in both ethics and trust. What could be better than three subject matter expert podcasts in one week about trust?

Throughout these discussions I found myself questioning whether the word “trust” itself was being misused. I was also confused by how the words trust, trusting, trusted and trustworthy were being used interchangeably when they have very different meanings. Bottom line, the podcasts may have had trust in their titles, but the conversations were not about trust, at least not in the way I have come to understand it.

One focused primarily on customer loyalty (some mistakenly call that brand trust), the second was a reputation conversation (trust and reputation are not the same) and the third was about building ethical products that consumers can rely upon. Again, not trust so much as reliability. Yes, trust has certainly become  a “hot” topic, but using the word as a “sexy” placeholder is not only misleading but also adds to the confusion of what trust is and what it is not.

Before we go further let’s look a bit closer at trust and it’s relationship to trustworthiness:

Trust: I explain it in this five minute video with Shona Elliott as an OUTCOME of principled behavior. It’s ALWAYS interpersonal. I have trust in you because you act in a competent, respectful, transparent and accountable manner. You will find me trustworthy for the same reasons. I don’t have trust in Costco, nor do I have trust in AI. I might be a loyal Costco shopper and I might rely on AI to be ethical, but I cannot trust something that is not a “someone.”

In the words of Charles H. Green, a member of both our Trust Alliance and Trust Council “the right way to think about trust is that it is all driven and experienced at the personal level: the role of the organization is to help those personal experiences become trust-positive.”

Organizations don’t build trust, they can only facilitate or hinder interpersonal trust. It’s up to the people who work for them to build the trust, and to be effective, leadership must carry the flag. A trust-based organization is one in which people behave in a trusting and trustworthy manner towards each other, and towards all stakeholders. At the organizational level if trust is not a function of leadership, any trust-building initiatives will be ineffective. Trust is built over time and in incremental steps through principled behavior that benefits all stakeholders, both internal and external. Organizational trust-building is most effective when it begins with its most valuable stakeholders, the employees.

Trustworthiness: Also an outcome. A person can be called trustworthy if they display principled behavior as described above. Trustworthiness can also apply to companies and brands based on attributes, not behaviors.

  • Trustworthiness at the corporate level: attributes like good governance, ethical accounting practices and financial stability enhance the reputation of the organization.
  • Trustworthiness at the brand level: attributes like quality, price, features, availability and customer service build customer loyalty.

So how can we alleviate the confusion about what trust is and what it is not.

It’s pretty simple. Make sure everyone understands and agrees on the discussion topic up front, and then be very deliberate about using the right words. Every conversation and every article about trust should begin with this question. What’s trust got to do with it? And if we are in fact talking about trust, let’s start the conversation by putting it in context.

A few examples of how to do this:

  • A podcast about the Edelman Trust Barometer findings that “trust in business leaders is up.”

To put this discussion in context the people engaged in it should address the question of “Trust in business leaders to do what?” Treat their employees well, take a stand on social issues, protect their shareholders, care about the environment? Then we can have a conversation about trust within the chosen specific context.

  • An article about recent data showing that less than half of Americans trust pharmaceutical companies.

Again, one must ask “Trust pharmaceutical companies to do what?” Have good customer service, develop products that improve rather than worsen health, pay less fines than last year, or treat their shareholders well? Identify the discussion topics early and then stick with them.

If trust is always put in its proper context the cloud of confusion begins to lift and the discussion becomes much more understandable and worthwhile.

You may also start to notice how often trust is used as a placeholder for something else, usually it’s reputation and often perception of trust, not trust itself. While I was writing this article I came across this “poster child” for a misleading trust statement from a new article on Forbes, written by a Forbes “Council” member. I see examples of poor usage of the word “trust” almost daily.

The simple truth is that people buy from brands and products they trust, and the ultimate objective of a content strategy is to create a trusted brand or product.

That’s actually not the “simple” truth at all as people often buy brands for reasons like convenience, price and even a coupon, or as an impulse purchase.  And notice how the author uses both the word “trust” and the word “trusted in the same sentence. Which one is it? And, by the way, content strategy doesn’t create a trusted brand, only people can do that. Sorry, this author’s statement, and many others like it, are meaningless and just add to the “noise” and trust confusion.

Trust discussions can be simple or complicated. It all depends on whether time is taken to clarify what, if anything, trust “has to do with it.” Try it next time trust enters your conversation.

Please visit Trust Across America-Trust Around the World to find out more about our work and our growing global community.

Don’t forget to check out our latest (and coolest) tool, The “Art” of Trust.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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TRUST: Can you answer these questions?

What is trust?

What is the business case for trust?

Can trust be assessed and measured?

How can leaders and teams elevate trust?

What weakens workplace trust the most? Find out in 1 minute and compare your workplace to hundreds of others.


Our global team of vetted professionals has the expertise to address trust from the boardroom to the shop floor, and with external stakeholders including customers, suppliers and regulators. We collaboratively spent over a year creating a simple and effective tool to start a trust discussion. In fact, our principles (TAP) have been accessed almost 150,000 times.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is the leading global program focused exclusively on helping organizations build trust. While trust “talk” is abundant, ACTION is what’s needed most.

Let’s talk.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Why should business leaders care about trust? This is why:


Performance of Trust Across America’s

Most Trustworthy Public Companies vs. the S&P 500 (2014-2019)


The chart above is the cumulative “Return on Trust” of America’s annual “Top 10” Most Trustworthy Public Companies over the past six years. Through its FACTS® Framework, Trust Across America has been analyzing, assembling and publicly reporting on this data for ten years.

If you are the CEO of a public company, or any company for that matter, who claims there is no Business Case for Trust, now may be the time to reconsider. Why DO business leaders require proof or ignore trust as their most valuable strategic advantage?

Leaders take trust for granted

Trust doesn’t just “happen.” It is not bestowed upon leaders by virtue of their title.  Trust is a learned competence and an intentional business strategy that must be crafted, practiced, modeled, and reinforced daily.

Leaders focus on the wrong metrics

Growing quarterly earnings, over reliance on sales quotas, focus on “old school” risk and/or “new school” ESG metrics will not satisfy the trust imperative that stakeholders are increasingly demanding. Neither will talking rather than acting on trust.

Leaders treat trust as a “soft skill”

Organizational trustworthiness is a hard currency. The proof is in the chart above.

Leaders are “trust reactive” 

Rarely do we hear proactive leadership discussions about building stakeholder trust. Instead, trust becomes a communications talking point only after a breach. This is both a missed and lost opportunity for leadership.

Leaders delegate trust

Trust is not a function of legal, compliance, HR, communications, or any other department. Boards of Directors and executive leadership teams must spearhead trust, making it central to the organization’s core values, so that all stakeholders can benefit.


Note: In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, an EXTERNAL quantitative measurement of the corporate trustworthiness of America’s largest 2000+ US public companies. The Framework identifies companies whose leadership is going beyond doing just what is legal and compliant to choosing the right core values that satisfy all stakeholder needs. The FACTS® Framework is the most comprehensive and data driven ongoing study on the trustworthiness of public companies. We analyze companies quarterly and rank order showing trends by company, sector and market capitalization. Read more about the Framework at this link.

In 2018 Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s Trust Alliance, a group of global trust scholars and practitioners, introduced its Trust Alliance Principles (TAP), and in 2019 our AIM Survey tool was created to guide leaders and teams in building trust INTERNALLY. It is based on universal behaviors that strengthen and weaken trust. To date, almost 150,000 global professionals have tapped into trust, and dozens of teams and organizations have used our simple survey tool to start a trust discussion.


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.

For more information visit our website at or contact us.



Purchase our books at this link


Copyright © 2020 Next Decade, Inc.



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

Real leadership starts by building trust; without trust, you have no platform from which to build positive influence with others. Walt Rakowich



Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

The best leaders influence others to do great things. Trust isn’t the only factor involved in building that type of influence, but it is an essential factor – perhaps the most essential. You can achieve short-term successes and positive results without trust. But you can’t do great things for yourself or for others over the long haul unless you trust yourself, trust others, and earn the trust of those you lead. If trust is lacking, success will be fleeting. When you have genuine trust, on the other hand, people willingly follow you and collaborate with you on a shared purpose. Things like commitment, risk-taking, accountability, productivity, and excellence fall more naturally into place.

You earn that trust over time by opening a window into your soul and showing yourself to be someone worth following. I learned in the heat of battle while turning around a Fortune 500 company that three virtues are essential to earning trust – humility, honesty, and heart. Humility comes when we look inward at who we really are. Heart comes when we look outward and value people for who they are, not just what they can do. And honesty requires that our actions align with what we say and with our values. When people see those virtues in the actions of a leader, they know their trust is well-placed. Combine that with a purpose and a passion for serving others, and great things aren’t just likely, they are inevitable.


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

I was named CEO of Prologis in the middle of the Great Recession and when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. As we began to rebuild, we knew there were problems involving trust. One of the first things we did as a leadership team was commit to owning our mistakes and to learning from them. We were open with our employees and our investors about those mistakes and the challenges we faced moving forward. But here’s what we didn’t do. We didn’t ask our employees or our investors to trust us. In fact, during a meeting in New York with more than a thousand investors and stakeholders, we outlined our mistakes and committed to some specific ways we planned to restore the company to health. Then we told them this: “Don’t trust us. Watch us.” Trust has to be earned, not assumed. We embraced that idea. If we couldn’t earn it, we didn’t deserve it. We made that very clear to each other, our employees, and our investors. I believe because we set that as a standard, we settled for nothing less and achieved it over time.

Walt, generally, do you think the global “trust” climate is improving or worsening? What actions are making it better or worse?
I don’t know if it’s getting better or worse, but one thing is for sure: It’s more important than ever. We live in a world of glass houses. Everything we do is seen by everybody. Because of that, it’s easier than ever for people to see things they don’t like and don’t trust in leaders. You can’t hide. And because people see more about us, they raise their level of expectations. With expectations rising and transparency now the norm, it’s even more essential for leaders to consistently demonstrate trustworthiness in all they do.


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

There are plenty of reasons to be discouraged about the condition of the world, but also plenty of reasons to have hope for the future. You can look at the environment of politics, sports, business, entertainment—whatever—and find examples of leaders who have abused trust and created cultures devoid of trust. Where was trust in the Volkswagen emissions scandal? Or pick any other scandal going back to the beginning of time. On the other hand, many emerging leaders have shown a great desire to work together and to make their work about something that’s bigger than themselves. The bad stuff draws the headlines and the Internet memes, but you don’t have to look far to find leaders who are transparent and honest and humble and who truly want to do the right things for people and society. I choose to trust that these are the leaders who will win the day.


Walt, 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?

Walt Rakowich is an author, speaker and the former CEO of Prologis, one of the top global real estate companies in the S&P 500. He was named CEO in 2008 during the economic downturn when the company was near bankruptcy. He implemented a change in culture through transparency, orchestrating a dramatic turnaround and restoring its position in the industry. Walt has a BS in accounting from Penn State and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to speaking to audiences on a range of leadership topics, he serves on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards. He and his wife Sue have two children and reside in Colorado.

And 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.

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


Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.


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In a recent GreenBiz article the author asks  Is This the End of Corporate Social Responsibility? Apparently CSR doesn’t “cut it anymore” and companies are now turning to the creation of social purposes or missions as “the reason for the company’s existence.” Sounds promising except for that one “big elephant in the room.”  Can you name it?



Study after study show that low stakeholder trust continues to drag down most companies, even ten years “post financial crisis.”

  • Only 7 percent of Americans believe that major company CEOs have high ethical standards. Public Affairs Council
  • Only a minority of millennials believe businesses behave ethically. Deloitte
  • 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Gallup
  • Just 46% of employees placed “a great deal of trust” in their employer, and only 49% placed “a great deal of trust” in their manager or colleagues. Ernst & Young
  • For the first time in the six years the gauge has been reported, the US has dropped out of the “Top 10” countries for innovation. Bloomberg

Developing social purpose and mission is NOT going to fix what is wrong inside organizations.  We call these “perception of trust” fixes as opposed to authentic trustworthiness. The first is built from the outside in, while the latter is a more difficult inside out endeavor.  Focusing on social purpose before trust is like putting a clean shirt on a dirty body. And other than an “easy fix” that gives marketing and PR something to talk about, it makes little sense.

When business leaders treat trust as a tangible asset and a business imperative, the following results are achieved:

  • Employees are more engaged and retention increases
  • Innovation is higher and occurs more quickly
  • Teams are more cohesive and decisions are made faster
  • Transparency and communication improve
  • Costs decrease and profitability increases

And the opposite occurs when they don’t, which is where most organizations find themselves today. A social purpose and mission will not fix low trust. It’s up to leadership to decide when (and if) they are ready to address the “elephant in the room.” Delaying it doesn’t fix it.

PS- Elevating trust is the best kept secret of many enlightened business leaders and it is giving them not only a head start, but a clear competitive advantage. For more information on how to build trust in your organization, please send a note to me at We are running our trust diagnostic (AIM Towards Trust) for many teams and organizations and, depending on the results, providing further insights on how to fix the weaknesses.

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. She holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA. 

Copyright 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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This is a timely article about what trust is and what it isn’t!

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, pictured above left, 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.

Charles H. Green, above right, is an author, speaker and world expert on trust-based relationships and sales in complex businesses. Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates, he is author of Trust-based Selling, and co-author of The Trusted Advisor and the Trusted Advisor Fieldbook. He majored in philosophy (Columbia), and has an MBA (Harvard). He has authored articles in Harvard Business Review, Directorship Magazine, Management Consulting News, CPA Journal, American Lawyer, Investments and Wealth Monitor, and Commercial Lending Review.


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You have been the victim of a major trust breach and you may not know it.


To how many of the following do you subscribe? If you are reading this, you certainly have an account with at least one of these services! Were you notified about the attacks that stole both your email address AND your password?


  • Adobe: 153 million accounts
  • Bitly: 9.3 million accounts
  • Disqus: 17.5 million accounts
  • Forbes: 1 million accounts
  • LinkedIn: 164 million accounts
  • Dropbox: 68 million accounts
  • Ancestry: 297,806

You can view the full list here. In total and as of this moment, 517,238,891 passwords have been exposed to data breaches.


I was not aware of the magnitude of this problem until yesterday’s most recent “spoof” appeared in my inbox demanding a bitcoin ransom. I’ve received a few in the past, (after the first one it becomes less scary!) but this was different. Not only was it sent from my OWN email address, but it contained an old password that I had used to register for some of the services shown above.

Before you freak out about the next ransomware demand coming to your inbox, check this website to see if you’ve been “had.” Chances are you have, and it’s time to stop using the same old passwords.

Find this information valuable?

Please consider making a small donation by clicking here!


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

Copyright(c) 2019, Next Decade, Inc.

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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








Copyright © 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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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 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


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