The Remarkable Power of Trust

By Daniel Burrus

Anyone who has heard me speak or worked with me in a consulting capacity knows how much I talk about the transformational impact of technology and how it’s advancing at an exponentially faster rate than ever before.

That’s certainly true. But there’s another theme I always address: All the technology in the world is secondary to good relationships between people. And positive, constructive, collaborative relationships boil down to a single common denominator—trust.

Here’s how to elevate trust—from both the inside-out and the outside-in.

The Importance of Trust

Trust isn’t some sort of feel-good idea that exists somewhere in the ether. Research has actually documented how important trust is to the effective functioning of any group or organization. Researchers at Michigan State University have categorized trust as a “transactional” dynamic that provides a broad foundation for effective relationships and work results. To that end, many companies cite trust on their list of important organizational values.

The value of trust becomes particularly obvious when it’s been compromised in some manner. Let’s say a company cuts back on a terrific health insurance program it’s offered for years. As a result, many employees feel that leadership has reneged on a key promise. Morale plummets. The same can hold true externally, such as a company that alienates customers by changing its privacy policy.

Just as important, it’s hard to regain trust once it’s been compromised. Suppose the organization we’re talking about reinstates its health care program or discontinues the sale of customer information. Even though things are back to the way they were, a seed of mistrust has nonetheless been planted.

Every brand has a brand promise, even if it is not stated in writing. In a way, the brand promise is the brand. I know what to expect from McDonald’s, Hyatt and Amazon. If you undermine trust, you undermine your brand.

The Value of Anticipatory Thinking and Elevating Trust

In my latest book, The Anticipatory Organization, I illustrate the importance of anticipatory thinking and actions that go beyond reacting after a problem occurs (agility) and helps solve problems before they have a chance to occur. Nowhere might that strategy be more valuable than in anticipating the effect of certain actions and decisions on the level of trust.

It’s a fairly straightforward process. Prior to making any sort of significant change or implementing a new policy, first, consider the level of trust you have with the people who stand to be affected by those decisions. Then, think about the ramifications on trust—will the trust level be enhanced by that change, will it be compromised or will it remain roughly the same?

If trust stands to improve, that’s a powerful rationale for moving forward. Even if trust stays where it is, that is sufficient evidence that the decision makes sense. On the other hand, if trust stands to suffer, you should give serious thought to how you implement any changes so that trust remains constant, or better yet, is elevated.

Elevating Trust: Its Value Cannot Be Overstated

Any core organizational value or policy that’s of genuine, long-lasting Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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