So, you have stumbled upon my blog. Are you going to stick with it? Do you need a few reasons why you should? Why does trust matter? Trust is the foundation upon which all relationships depend to thrive. Without trust, there is insecurity, uncertainty, unpredictability and the inevitable looking over the shoulder and waiting for the next shoe to drop. The world becomes more negative and menacing with the emotional stress that accompanies this state of reality. This is never a good environment for anybody. So much energy is expended in second-guessing, covering your bases, and feeling suspicious of somebody’s intentions that there is little left for creativity. And creativity is what drives organizations to greatness. Who am I? I have been studying trust since the mid-nineties. When I first began my research and thinking about trust, it was a topic that did not receive much attention by either academics, business people or the public. Then, the securities sector and corporations began experiencing a series of transgressions which had a huge, negative impact on the average person. People began to talk about trust and more accurately, the breach of trust which they were experiencing. There was outrage and a sense of betrayal. How could this happen? I was consulting and working on my PhD in business with a focus on Trust in Institutions. Trust, up until that point, was not something that people paid a lot of attention to. It was assumed to be there, ever present in the background. Then, things began to happen. Enron, Nortel, Putnam, Merrill Lynch. Doping in cycling, baseball and questions of honesty and integrity in other sports. Public figures began to fall as their dishonesty and lack of integrity began to become evident. Clinton and Lewinsky, Shawinigate, Elliott Spitzer- the list goes on and on. What happened to so many of these people and the venerable institutions that they represent? What happened to the values and to trust? People began to wonder and doubt and both academics and the media took up the cause. In the midst of this, I began 2 years of interviews in the securities sector in Toronto. I asked CEO’s and their executive teams what trust meant to them. I began with this group since they set the tone, ethics and values for the firm. It starts with the top- or so they say. I spoke to regulators and started at the top there as well. I spoke to average investors- those with great sums to invest and others with just a limited amount of money to see them through retirement. What I learned about trust formed the basis of my life’s work. This blog will share that work with you and invite your comments.
Deborah writes /
So, what do you think ?