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Is TRUST the New Higher Order?

A few weeks ago, I met with a former senior colleague, whom I deeply respect and have learned much from.

We always have great conversations. This particular one was about TRUST and anchored on some tangibles relevant to any business at this very time.

I’ll share with you some of my reflections:

  • Is TRUST the new higher order for any organisation, beyond its vision, mission, and values? If a company is not TRUSTED, will these other items be believed and are they possibly frivolous?

  • How are employees measured? ... and ... How are the longer consequences of decisions today challenged? This is beyond an LTI in many cases, as an LTI is a near-term horizon. What will the legacy be in twenty years from our decisions today? Two of my previous employers lived this long-term perspective; one spoke of a 1000-day plan for 100 years. It was compelling.

  • Being "selfless" - caring more and controlling less (read that again). So often, everything within an organisation is a negotiation, a horse trade, eroding the integrity of a business' operations. Will being "selfless" be the new "vulnerability"?

  • Consistency in every endeavour. What do you do when people are not watching?Steve Jobs' father was a car machinist; he taught Steve the importance of craftsmanship. When Steve was building a fence with his dad, he didn't approach the hidden parts of the fence with the same craftsmanship. His dad stopped him. Steve protested and said nobody would see it; his dad said we would know it. This experience shaped how Steve approached Apple. We know that quality was everywhere in their products. Open an early Apple PC and look at the circuit board.

  • Respect is the new currency of TRUST. My colleague reminded me of how we saw exemplary behaviour by some colleagues towards the board and executives, but then poor behaviour with their fellow colleagues. Everyone has worked with somebody like this. If RESPECT is the currency of TRUST, does poor behaviour equate to a poor-quality person? Will this override any other performance metric?

  • How is data used by an organisation and the people within it? The use of data indicates the morality of an organisation. How will an organisation's data fuel its AI as AI emerges in business practices? The use is likely to determine where they sit on a morality range?

How important is the above now?

It often takes a crisis to focus our actions on TRUST.

Imagine if your organisation took some trust actions now...

It could be a genuine point of difference.


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