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Posts Tagged ‘Trust Inc. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset’

Jul
23

 

By Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO & Co-founder Trust Across America

 

In the short-term “low trust” public companies can be very profitable. Corporate executives who “legally” cheat, steal, avoiding paying taxes, and stay just to the “right” of compliance may produce the profits that both their “old school” Board and short-term oriented shareholders crave, but these “business as usual” trust violations are not conducive to long-term business success. A growing number of companies are replacing the “stuck in the 80s leadership model” with proactive business executives who acknowledge that long-term success is built by embracing trust as both a strategic advantage and intentional business strategy. This translates to practicing “trust” on a daily basis by building a trustworthy and responsible corporate culture,  treating customers and suppliers “right”, by having superior products, great service, a well-configured Board, low employee turnover, and a high degree of innovation.

Now in its 9th year, our proprietary FACTS® Framework measures the trust “worthiness” of America’s largest public companies (over 2000). The following are some of the “fast facts” drawn from our larger study.

Chart #1 

Since 2012 Trust Across America has selected and publicly published an annual list of “Top Ten” Most Trustworthy Public Companies. Had you invested in those 10 companies on the day of publication, your portfolio would have significantly outperformed the S&P 500.

 Chart #2

FACTS data can be sorted by sector and the following chart represents the sector rankings for the Russell 1000 for 2018. Please keep in mind that the Framework uses a broad 16-sector model provided by Zacks Investment Research. 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. And it’s also important to remember that industry is NOT destiny.

The data can also rank companies within sectors, by market cap and headquarter location, to name just a few. We can also perform company comparisons.

 

Sector Rankings

 

Correlation Studies:

Trust Across America continues to run a series of ongoing correlation studies with other organizations and these are a few of our findings:

  • High correlation between our FACTS rankings and percentage of women on boards as reported by Catalyst.
  • High correlation between our FACTS rankings and Governance & Accountability Institute’s companies that voluntarily report on sustainability.
  • Low correlation between our FACTS rankings, Great Places to Work and Forbes Annual Ratings of Most Trustworthy Public Companies. (Forbes data providers employ a narrower “measure” of trust “worthiness” to compile their rankings.)

These studies and many others, confirm that the best companies are more responsible, and they dedicate the necessary resources for continuous improvement.

Our FACTS Framework and rankings are being licensed in a variety of formats. Read more about the Framework at this link.

Email Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com for more information.

Barbara Kimmel, CEO & Co-founder Trust Across America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Jul
18

Papa John’s is the latest to call for trust “reconstruction” from the inside out. A quick review of recent news headlines also mentions the EPA after Pruitt, Michigan State’s new athletic director, the Charlottesville police department, Samsung, and Wells Fargo, among others, all calling for trust rebuilding.

At first glance, the obvious recipients of that “first” phone call might be: PR firms and ad agencies, crisis management firms, risk experts, monitors or watchdogs, lawyers or compliance consultants. Yet every one of those choices will result in a “Band-Aid” fix, at best.

For an organization to rebuild trust, the first decision is not who gets the phone call, but who makes it. That first call must originate from the top, and be made to a professional firm with expertise in organizational trust. When that call is delegated to communications, legal or compliance, the chances of obtaining a long-term desired outcome are greatly reduced.

Trust building (and rebuilding) is an intentional holistic exercise. It can’t be pushed down the chain of command and it can only be fixed by the “right” people. Trust can’t be rebuilt with a press conference or an ad campaign, and it does take time.

These 12 Principles called TAP, were developed over the course of a year by a global group of ethics and trust professionals who comprise our Trust Alliance. They are currently available in 14 languages as free PDF downloads and serve as a great starting place and a clear roadmap to building and rebuilding trust. A variety of complimentary tools are also available on our website at trustacrossamerica.com and our Trust Alliance members may also be in a position to help.

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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May
10

 

Elevating organizational trust becomes simple once leadership acknowledges the business case. That case has been made repeatedly by many organizations, including ours. Last month we introduced our TAP Principles through the Million Taps Campaign. Each of the 12 statements is designed to open the trust discussion among teams of any size in any organization. (TAP is currently available in 5 languages, with more being added.)

And if you are a leader who wants to build trust into your organization’s DNA, it all begins (and ends) with you. How many of these boxes can you check?

Start with an assessment of yourself:

  • Are you trustworthy?
  • Do you possess integrity, character and values?
  • Do you share those values with your family?
  • Do you instill them in your children?
  • Do you take your personal values to work?

Perform an organizational trust audit:

Consider your internal stakeholders:

Consider your external stakeholders:

  • Have you shared your vision and values in building a trustworthy organization?
  • Have you identified the outcome(s) you are seeking?
  • Have you defined your intentions for each of our stakeholder groups?
  • Have you made promises that you will keep?
  • Have you determined the steps you will take to fulfill these promises?

Elevating organizational trust is not difficult. It begins with awareness, acknowledgement of the long-term benefits and a daily commitment to do so.

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.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
26

Last week the spring issue of TRUST! Magazine was published by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW). This special 10th anniversary issue, coauthored with Bob Vanourek, a former corporate CEO and cofounder of Triple Crown Leadership is called Building Trustworthy Organizations: The Role of Good Governance. Having polled almost two dozen lead directors, Board members and governance experts, Bob and I asked three survey questions. The first two were:

What does/did the term “good corporate governance” mean to you? 

What are/were some of the key governance practices you find/found most useful to good corporate governance? 

The third question was:

What are some suggestions you have for improved corporate governance in the future? 

While the magazine contains literally dozens of responses and ideas, the following are ten recommendations regarding the Board in general:

  1. “Understanding and practicing good governance is not a skill set listed when looking for candidates to nominate for election to a board—it is important that good education is provided for new and current directors on the tenets of good governance which are publicized by the company.”
  2. “Good governance is enhanced with high levels of trust among board members, good communications between directors and senior management, a solid internal auditing function, and a reliance on competent outside counsel.”
  3. “Greater gender, ethnic, age and geographic diversity.”
  4. “Define ‘cognitive diversity’ and integrate it into the board search process.”
  5. “Fewer sitting CEOs as directors and limitations on how many boards their own CEO may sit on.”
  6. “A board that is deeply engaged with each other, the CEO, and leadership team.”
  7. “Yearly review by the board of recommendations from the various stakeholders for changes and additions to governance policies and procedures.”
  8. “Closer attention to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). In 2017, ExxonMobil faced a 62 per cent proxy vote for stronger climate change disclosure. Expect ESG to become a standard proxy concern for major shareholder groups.”
  9. “Ensuring a constructive, trustworthy tone at the top among board members and senior management, personally modeling appropriate behavior.”
  10. “Strive to lead in the spirit of trust to make things better now and for the future. Their goal is to leave the organization better than when they found it.”

Building trustworthy organizations is, indeed, an essential element of good corporate governance. As one of our wise respondents said of board members,

“As stewards, they strive to lead in the spirit of trust

to make things better now and for the future.

Their goal is to leave the organization

better than when they found it.”

 

Last week we also introduced TAP, our Trust Alliance Principles. They are available (in 5 languages) by tapping the button on our home page or to the right of this blog.

We hope these two new resources will help organizations build trust. That has remained the mission of TAA-TAW since it’s inception 10 years ago.

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 & Company, 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

or contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Follow us on Twitter @BarbaraKimmel and @TapIntoTrust

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Apr
24

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World continues to reach new milestones in its mission to help organizations build trust.

Last week we:

  1. Began our 10th anniversary celebration
  2. Released the spring issue of TRUST! Magazine whose title is Building Trustworthy Organizations: The Role of Good Governance
  3. Commenced a movement called TAP INTO TRUST, a set of global Principles to help organizations of any size elevate stakeholder trust.

None of these initiatives would have been possible without collaboration. As our Trust Alliance grows, our members are working side by side to elevate trust in organizations around the world.

If you lead an organization this document will provide the framework to begin the process of elevating trust.

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 & Company, 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

or contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Follow us on Twitter @BarbaraKimmel and @TapIntoTrust

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
22

 

Our ongoing research at Trust Across America points in the direction that over time trustworthy public companies outperform their peers and the “markets.” This relatively small universe of well-governed companies goes beyond just meeting the needs of its shareholders to recognizing the importance of all its stakeholders.

Why Does this Make Sense?

Based on numerous studies high levels of trustworthiness are correlated with:

  • Ethical leadership
  • Happy employees and lower turnover
  • Faster decision-making
  • Higher innovation
  • Better community engagement
  • Decreased risk of corporate crisis

to name just a few benefits. And all of these factors impact the long-term bottom line.

Every year since 2012 Trust Across America has publicly announced its “Top Ten Most Trustworthy Public Companies” via an annual article on our blog. The following table displays the current cumulative returns of the companies selected each year vs. the S&P 500 since the date of the blog publication.

FACTS(R) Framework Annual Returns “Top Ten”

 

Note: FANG companies have never appeared in any of the “Top 10” selections.

 

How are these Companies Chosen?

In 2010 Trust Across America introduced the FACTS® Framework, a comprehensive unbiased barometer of the trustworthiness of America’s largest 2000 US public companies. The Framework (based on 5 equally weighted indicators) identifies companies whose leadership has intentionally chosen to govern in a manner that goes beyond doing just what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. Now in its 8th year the FACTS® Framework is the most comprehensive and data driven ongoing study on this subject. We analyze companies quarterly and rank order showing trends by company, sector and market capitalization.

Whether one calls this great culture, high integrity “ESG,” or simply trust, the business case has been made. Leaders who choose to ignore trust are setting themselves up for not only a crisis, but a sudden decline in their stock value. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.

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 & Company, 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

or contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.

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Sep
18

Photo courtesy of www.dondalrymple.com

According to a July 2017 World Economic Forum article about regaining trust in business….

Business is on the brink of distrust.

It is clear that the expectations of business are changing as rapidly as the world around us. Corporations must find a way to lead.

A contemporary CEO cannot afford to ignore this sentiment. The epoch of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a cost of doing business has passed; the era of “doing well by doing good” is upon us. Balancing the profit motive with the creation of societal value is about to become a precondition for the long-term success of any corporation, sector, scale or geographic reach notwithstanding.”

(Note: Trust Across America, through it’s FACTS Framework, developed the scorecard in 2009 and has been tracking and ranking the trustworthiness of the largest 2000 US based public companies since that time.)

So what is the path forward for leaders to regain trust in business? After all, the business case for trust has been proven time and again. Perhaps it boils down to the simple question of who owns trust.

The current SOP in most companies, is to take trust for granted until there is an “issue” and then trust is “delegated” to the “right” silo depending on the nature of the problem:

  • If there is a corporate crisis, the communications and legal team are there to talk about restoring trust after conferring with their PR firm.
  • If it’s a matter of “ethics,” the Chief Compliance Officer steps in.
  • Market share declining? The CMO steps up to tout brand “trust” in its campaign.
  • High employee turnover got you down? Head to HR. After all, they must not have hired “right.” Fire the whole darn department and replace the staff with interview robots. (I kid you not)
  • Unhappy shareholders? Punt to Investor Relations.
  • Giving a speech about building trust in the community? The corporate responsibility and sustainability silos are right on it, once legal signs off.

Got the picture?

Unfortunately, in most companies, no single person or department owns trust and that’s why business is on the brink of distrust. It’s that simple. Imagine running a company without a Chief Financial Officer. How would the job get done? Trust can no longer afford to be treated like a hot potato.

Who should own trust?

No doubt, it’s the CEO. Trust starts at the top, as a directive from the Board, with leadership acknowledgement of its strategic importance. Once that occurs, the day-to- day practice could be delegated to a Chief Trust Officer, who reports directly to the CEO. Imagine the first company bold enough to do this. Did I just say bold? I meant smart and proactive. 

What would the job entail?

  • Review and refine the credo, vision and values, with buy-in from every C-Suite member (and the Board.)
  • Regularly communicate vision and values to all stakeholders and ensure everyone abides by them.
  • Work closely with HR so hiring (and firing) is done according to the standards set forth above.
  • Get trust on the daily docket.  This is an example of how one company does this, and a bit more about driving culture.
  • Enforce a “zero” tolerance policy for trust breaches. Nobody is immune, especially the CEO.

What would the job requirements be?

Someone who lives the holistic concept of doing well by doing good, is a stellar communicator, and has the right combination of personal qualities to rally the troops. Impeccable character, courage, competence and consistency are key. In fact, not all that different from the qualities of a great CEO.

An organization’s chances at long-term success are predicated on the level of trust it builds with all its stakeholders. I can’t think of a more important and timely job title than Chief Trust Officer. Can you?

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. 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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Sep
12

Photo courtesy of trepscore.com

Are the following low trust warning signs present in your company?

  • The Board emphasizes short-term financial results over long-term value creation.
  • CEO values are unknown or unclear and never communicated.
  • The C-Suite operates in individual silos.
  • Management ignores trust as a proactive business strategy or a competitive advantage.
  • The largest departments are legal and compliance with hyper focus on risk.
  • HR is lacking a “values driven” hiring framework hindering the construction of a talented and engaged team.
  • Transparency has taken a back seat to secrecy and closed doors, and employees are always the last to “find out.”
  • Layers of bureaucracy and “rules” slow every decision to a crawl.
  • Failure is punished so passion and innovation are low or nonexistent.
  • Stakeholder activism is increasing.

What other low trust warning signs would you add?

Trust Across America has been researching and measuring the trustworthiness of the 1500 largest US public companies for almost eight years via it’s FACTS® Framework. This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing study on this subject. We analyze quarterly and rank order by company, sector and market capitalization. We are particularly interested in tracking individual companies and sector trends over time.

 

While Trust Across America continues to make the business case for trust, it remains quite common for warning signs to be overlooked or completely ignored.  Address the “trust” danger signs before distrust becomes the norm, or the next crisis comes knocking at the CEOs front door.

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. 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

 

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Sep
02

Photo courtesy of psychologicalscience.org

How frayed is trust in your organization? As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to repair it before the rope snaps and a crisis occurs.

Five Trust-Building Resources for Business Leaders

  1. Read a book on building trust
  2. Purchase a DIY kit called Trust in a Box
  3. Receive cutting edge advice by joining our Alliance
  4. Read our White Paper: The State of Trust in Corporate America
  5. Hold a workshop

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. 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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Aug
12

A customer service representative at a major health insurance company recently told me that HIPAA prevented him from disclosing whether an application submitted for one of my children had been received by the company. I sensed he had misinterpreted HIPAA whose purpose is to safeguard medical information, but as he insisted, he was just “following the rules.” I thanked him for his time, hung up, and called back to the same department. The second customer service rep gave me the information I needed without hesitation.

Whether an employee or a customer, I’ll bet you’ve heard these statements (excuses) or used them yourself more than once.

  • I need to get approval to do (or say) that.
  • I need to clear this through compliance.
  • I need permission before you can quote me.
  • I can’t help you without approval.
  • I’m just following the rules.
  • I apologize for your frustration.

Perhaps it’s time for business leaders to take a few minutes to understand the relationship between trust and approval.

Merriam-Webster provides the following definitions of approval:

Definition #1: The belief that something or someone is good or acceptable: a good opinion of someone or something. 

Definition #2:  Permission to do something: acceptance of an idea, action, plan, etc.

Focusing now on Definition #2, how many employees are constrained by “permission” in your organization? Have you considered how this impacts:

  • Speed of innovation
  • Decision-making
  • Employee engagement
  • Cost

Every time an employee needs approval to say or do something, the “approval” process impedes the outcome. In fact, the process may be so daunting, that employees choose to take the “easy” road, never creating anything new or suggesting a novel idea;  or as in the story above, checking with someone else when they clearly do not understand the company’s daunting “rules.”

As a business leader, have you considered how your customers are impacted by the “approval process” in your organization, or how the company’s actions:

  • Waste customer AND employee time
  • Create hard feelings
  • Lower customer retention
  • Damage reputation and elevate risk
  • Raise costs

As a business leader, what if your focus shifted from “approval” or rule enforcement to elevating stakeholder trust?

The most progressive and successful CEOs and their Boards have redirected their attention to crafting long-term vision and values statements and/or Codes of Conduct, not driven by legal and compliance, but by their two most important stakeholders, their employees and their customers. (The “credo” etched into the wall at corporate headquarters does not even begin to satisfy this requirement.) The entire staff, beginning with the Board and CEO, must vow to live their values every day, and ensure that employees understand that any “values violation” will result in immediate termination. Just imagine the innovation, speed of decision-making and empowerment that would result from this cultural transformation, not to mention the ultimate cost savings and impact on profitability.

During the editing process of our book Trust Inc. I reviewed the websites of many large public companies with the goal of including an Appendix brimming over with examples of well-crafted vision statements. This became a difficult and disappointing task as the handful identified could not be included in the book without “approval” from the respective company’s legal department, which would have meant a lengthy delay of the book’s publication. Instead, I created a “work around” by eliminating the company name. What a lost opportunity for all!

If organizations spent more time building values instead of layers of legal teams and compliance departments, the word “approval” would start to look more like Merriam-Webster’s first definition:

The belief that something or someone is good or acceptable: a good opinion of someone or something. 

And “approval” would be replaced with trust.

The most progressive business leaders have joined our Trust Alliance to ensure that they never miss an opportunity to learn about elevating organizational trust.

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. 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. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

You may also join our Constant Contact mailing list for updates on our progress.

Purchase our books at this link

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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