Posts Tagged ‘trust in business’


What do we mean by ESG? 

Investopedia offers this summary: Environmental criteria consider how a company safeguards the environment, including corporate policies addressing climate change, for example. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. The conversations around the role of “S” (how companies treat their stakeholders) and “G” (how they are governed) have recently come into focus and for good reason.

What do we mean by a “trust deficit.”

At Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW) we consider trust as the “outcome of principled behavior.” If the principled behaviors are absent, a trust deficit is created.

What is Causing the ESG Trust Deficit? 

Reading the current headlines one might concluded that the ESG trust deficit is “all political.” That one side wants ESG and the other does not, and so one group is “right” and the other is “wrong.” But while politicizing ESG may be convenient for some, blaming politics ignores the root causes of the trust deficit (the behavioral ones), and they are plentiful.

The Employee Perspective

According to the Public Affairs Council members of the public don’t trust corporate CEOs as much as they trust the companies these CEOs lead: 47% place a lot of trust or some trust in major companies to behave ethically but give CEOs poor marks in this area. Only 7% believe CEOs to have high standards for honesty and ethics, and almost half (47%) believe their standards are low. October 2020

And Gallup recently reported that low employee engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion or 9% of global GDP.

The Sustainability Perspective

Elaine Cohen, a leading global voice in sustainability and reporting offers the following:

For me, the ESG Trust Deficit shows up as publicly stating a commitment to ESG but not following through with actions:

  • inconsistencies between what the company talks about in its (financial) annual report and its sustainability report
  • lack of integration of ESG as part of the business strategy
  • lack of clear ESG targets and transparent report of progress against targets while declaring a strategic approach to ESG or sustainability
  • lack of understanding of the financial implications of ESG impacts
  • public commitment but poor performance against commitments
  • lack of Board understanding or and visibility on sustainability matters
  • lack of accountability for Board members for ESG matters

The Governance Perspective

Lawrence A. Cunningham an authority on corporate governance, corporate culture, and corporate law has this to say: The traditional “G” in ESG refers to allocation of corporate power among and between directors, officers and shareholders. The “E & S” (and now the “P” for political) is a nouveau addition addressing allocations of corporate power to other constituencies as well, especially fellow citizens, employees, and customers. Among the pairs between traditional governance and nouveau ESP some are (1) mutually compatible in theory (so both can possibly be implemented without necessarily compromising), (2) mutually exclusive and (3) mutually compatible in theory but often not in practice (the nouveau ES focus crowds out traditional G priorities).  The related classifications in the following infographic are subjective judgment rather than scientific truth but they illuminate the changing landscape and stakes.  

What does this chart reveal about the role and value of trust? Walking through the exercise and sensing the variability and uncertainty of the practices and priorities will likely raise questions for many readers about the compatibility of the nouveau ESP practices with fundamental notions of trust.

The Leadership Perspective

Finally, Barton (Bart) Alexander who has worked to effect positive change from senior executive positions within government, Fortune 500 corporations and NGOs weighs in on a third cause of the ESG trust deficit.

The longstanding cycles of labeling and then criticism of the labeling are just in another phase. We used to have corporate citizenship, then corporate responsibility, then shared value, then ESG, then purpose.  Each creation of the “new framework” says the old one is misdirected and incomplete.  Even governance for a long time was just about the basics of transparency and accountability.  In one of the current cycles, we have ESG being criticized as PR oriented, then Woke, and now we have green hushing as much as green washing.  

Companies are challenged to meet investor expectations amidst pressure to adhere to environmental and social imperatives. Taking a stand exposes them to accusations from both sides — being too slow and prioritizing “woke” issues over profits. 

In conclusion, thriving companies adhere to sound business strategies, without succumbing to polarized debates. Their sustained success depends not only on short-term profits, but on building value for all of their stakeholders, starting with their employees.  They need not exaggerate nor hide what they are doing — their results speak for themselves. Senior executives who make principled behavior a priority tend not to “take stands” or make bold claims via corporate communications about their purpose or the organization’s positive environmental and social programs. Instead they simply choose to do the right thing without much fanfare.

For Trust AcrossAmerica-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW) this is not a new revelation. When we built our FACTS® Framework over ten years ago to evaluate the trustworthiness of public companies, we recognized the need to create a holistic model of principled organizational behavior that gave equal weight to the E, S and G. This was long before ESG became a “household name.” The FACTS® Framework is an acronym that includes five drivers or indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Read more at the link.

One solution to the ESG Trust Deficit: Our Trust 200 Index

TAA-TAW maintains an index of our FACTS® Top 200 most trustworthy public companies. The Index is updated daily. The twelve year performance against two benchmarks (iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) and SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF) is shown below (as of August 3, 2023) and the results speak for themselves. Over time the most trustworthy companies outperform.

Why? The best leaders create long term value through principled behavior which builds trust instead of breaking it. They know it begins with integrity which enables trustworthy leaders to attract and retain top talent who then willingly owns and model the values flowing from the top. These values then organically tend to extend to all stakeholders. Said another way, trust is built over time and in incremental steps by the actions of trustworthy leaders, not through weak or politicized ESG “programming” or “talk.” The public has watched these misdirected messages backfire time and again, resulting in an accelerating erosion of trust. And this is why the ESG trust deficit exists.

The trustworthiness of an organization is determined equally by its environmental, social and governance structure and practices, incorporating not only shareholder interests but those of other stakeholders as well, beginning with employees. ESG programs don’t create or fix trust, but principled behavior will do both.

More information on TAA-TAW can be found at

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an author, speaker, product developer and global subject matter expert on trust and trustworthiness. Founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World she is author of the award-winning Trust Inc., Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust and Trust Inc., a Guide for Boards & C-Suites. She majored in International Affairs (Lafayette College), and has an MBA (Baruch- City University of NY). Her expertise on trust has been cited in Harvard Business Review, Investor’s Business Daily, Thomson Reuters, BBC Radio, The Conference Board, Global Finance Magazine, Bank Director and Forbes, among others.

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

As organizations are comprised of individuals, Ethical Blindness naturally extends into the workplace. Some business sectors appear to be more ethically blind than others, and this creates enormous enterprise risk.

More on our Framework here.

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

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

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

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

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an author, speaker, product developer and global subject matter expert on trust and trustworthiness. Founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World she is author of the award-winning Trust Inc., Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations for Building Workplace Trust and Trust Inc., a Guide for Boards & C-Suites. She majored in International Affairs (Lafayette College), and has an MBA (Baruch- City University of NY). Her expertise on trust has been cited in Harvard Business Review, Investor’s Business Daily, Thomson Reuters, BBC Radio, The Conference Board, Global Finance Magazine, Bank Director and Forbes, among others. For more information contact

Copyright © 2023, Next Decade, Inc.

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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?

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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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