Jul
12

 

Ever since the financial crisis, it’s not uncommon to read articles and studies about trust in banking and whether trust is “up” or “down.” In the past year alone:

  • Ernst & Young reports consumer trust in banks is diminishing. September 2016
  • International Banker claims that trust is often found wanting in today’s banking relationships. December 2016
  • Edelman reports in their 2017 Trust Barometer that in the United States 60 percent of financial institutions bounded forward (in trust) six percentage points from 2016. March 2017
  • And according to The Hill, almost a decade later, public trust in financial institutions remains stubbornly low. April 2017

So is trust in banking up or down? Some of the confusion stems from a lack of definitional clarity. Without a clear(er) understanding of what “trust in banking” means, the entire sector finds itself painted with one broad brushstroke, the reading public is left in an an ever escalating state of confusion, and elevating organizational trust becomes all the more challenging.

Trust? What are we trusting banks to do, or not do? Safeguard our money, earn a good return for shareholders, protect our personal data, treat employees well, provide good customer service, or all of the aforementioned?

Banking? Can global investment banks, regional banks, and/or a local savings and loans be grouped together when discussing trust in banking? Should they be?

For seven years Trust Across America has been researching the trustworthiness and integrity of America’s largest 1500 public companies via our proprietary FACTS® Framework.

 

 

This is, by order of magnitude, the largest ongoing study ever conducted on trustworthiness and integrity at the individual corporate level. Our 2017 data concludes that the finance sector remains among the lowest in trust, with an average score of 58.

 

 

But our data also tells a more holistic and detailed story, and one that places us in a unique position to discuss trust in the banking industry. Industry is NOT destiny and those more trustworthy financial institutions suffer at the hands of their less trustworthy colleagues. And the headlines above only serve to reinforce this fact.

It’s important to give credit to companies who have earned the trust of a broad range of stakeholders. Understanding that no company is perfect, the following is a list of some of the “banks” that score a “70” or above (on a scale of 1 to 100) according to our 2017 FACTS ® Framework research. Scores in the finance sector range from 40 to 77.

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Goldman Sachs
  • KeyCorp
  • Commerce Bancshares
  • US Bancorp
  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

Headlines don’t always report the “full” story nor do articles and studies regularly or consistently define the meaning of trust. Trust in banking isn’t necessarily “up” or “down.” The level of trustworthiness or integrity of a specific company is determined by how well leadership defines its corporate culture, and understands and embraces the value of trust in meeting the needs of every stakeholder group. Our study continues to point in the direction that trust is not only a measurable business strategy and a business differentiator, but also a direct route to long-term profitability.

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 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017  a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute.

Purchase our books at this link

For updates on our Corporate Integrity Monitor, please join our mailing list. To be among the first to review our research and more fully engage in elevating organizational trust, please consider membership in our vetted Trust Alliance.

 

Copyright 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

Jul
06

Most Trustworthy Public Companies 2017

Percentage of Women on Boards

According to a 2016 Global Board of Director Survey conducted by Harvard Business School, Women Corporate Directors Foundation and Spencer Stuart, the growth of women on U.S. boards, approaching a national average of approximately 20% remains stagnant.

Through our FACTS® Framework, Trust Across America has been tracking the percentage of women on boards in our annual research on America’s Most Trustworthy Public Companies. Our 2017 findings are reflected on the chart below. Only two of the eleven “Top 10” companies fail to meet the 20% threshold.

 

 

 

Company Name # of Board Members # of Women Percentage of Women
Dr Pepper Snapple 9 3 33
CSX Corp. 13 3 23
Best Buy 10 4 40
Hasbro 12 5 42
Johnson & Johnson 10 2 20
Xerox 11 3 27
Morgan Stanley 13 2 15
Nvidia 12 2 17
Visteon 10 2 20
Abbott Labs 12 4 33
Home Depot (tied) 13 3 23

 

For more information on Trust Across America’s Corporate Integrity Monitor findings, please visit our blog or connect with Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder on LinkedIn or via email at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright (c) 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

Jun
19

Trust Across America Announces

“Top 10” Most Trustworthy Public Companies 2017

via its new Corporate Integrity Monitor 

(the corporate Richter Scale of Trust)

 

Click here to view Issue #2 of Trust Across America’s Corporate Integrity Monitor.

Methodology: Since 2009 Trust Across America’s FACTS® Framework has been measuring and ranking public companies on five equally weighted quantitative indicators of integrity, forming the acronym FACTS- Financial stability, Accounting Conservativeness, Corporate Governance, Transparency and Sustainability. Our objective model (companies do not know they are being analyzed nor are any internal employee surveys completed) was initially constructed in 2008 and measures the corporate trustworthiness/integrity of the largest 2000 US public companies. Trust Across America’s Most Trustworthy Public Companies ranks the Russell 1000.

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.

2017 Highlights:

Companies in descending order:

  • #1 Dr Pepper Snapple Group (tied) *
  • #1 CSX Corporation (tied)
  • #3 Best Buy Co., Inc.
  • #4 Hasbro Inc. *
  • #5 Johnson & Johnson
  • #6 Xerox Corporation
  • #7 Morgan Stanley
  • #8 Nvidia Corporation
  • #9 Visteon Corporation, Abbot Laboratories, The Home Depot*, Inc. (3 way tie)

* Named for two consecutive years.

No company is perfect. The 2017 highest scoring company(ies) received a “79” on a 1-100 scale.

The “Top 10” companies hail from 9 of 16 sectors. Industry is not destiny.

About the CEOs (as of December 2016):

  • Seven CEOs have served in their position for at least 5 years
  • Both CSX and Xerox have appointed new CEOs in 2017
  • Average CEO age is 58
  • At least four are foreign born
  • Two have no education beyond high school
  • Four possess an MBA or equivalent and three have Master’s in Engineering
  • At least three were, at one time, employed by McKinsey & Company

We are pleased to see the expanding coverage of our FACTS Framework in publications including The Harvard Business Review, Strategic Finance Magazine, The Huffington Post, Globescan Dialogue, the Trusted Advisor Blog,  FCPA Blog, and other publications. This release introduces Issue #2 of a new monthly publication The Trust Across America Corporate Integrity Monitor, available to our Trust Alliance members. 

Congratulations to our 2017 corporate honorees!

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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

Jun
06

Last week Trust Across America pulled back the curtain on it’s new “Richter Scale” of Trust via our Corporate Integrity Monitor publication with this chart.

This week we’d like to show our readers the most recent FACTS Framework trust ranking for all sixteen sectors.

According to our FACTS® Framework, high integrity public companies have less risk and better long-term outperformance.”

Our quantitative, objective model measures the integrity of the largest 2000 US public companies.

 

This, by order of magnitude, is the most comprehensive and fact-based ongoing (now in its 7th year) study on corporate trustworthiness and integrity.  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.

Our findings have previously been reported in The Harvard Business Review, Strategic Finance Magazine, The Huffington Post, Globescan Dialogue, the Trusted Advisor Blog and other publications. This release introduces a new monthly publication The Trust Across America Corporate Integrity Monitor, available to our Trust Alliance members and licensees only.

For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder

Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Or by phone at (908) 310 3777

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

Apr
12

 

Trust Across America’s focus has always been on finding and highlighting the “best in breed” corporate citizens while leaving the worst for the scrutiny of others. But today is only Wednesday and my inbox is swamped with so many trust busting stories that even Lucy’s head is spinning. Here we go:

Wells Fargo is clawing back compensation to rebuild trust, or are they?

Volkswagen has found the “secret” to  rebuilding trust…. are they kidding?

Barclay’s CEO has his own strategy for trust, but it’s certainly not the “building” kind. This is the same CEO who not so long ago said “I do believe that trust is returning to our institution. But we will never rest, we are never done. We have to focus on building that trust every day.”

A  bunch of “fake activist” companies, outraged over the purported trust violations of Bill O’Reilly, pull their advertising, or do they? Thanks Jim!

And let’s not forget United, except this isn’t about customer brutality, and maybe not even about trust! It’s just ironic.

This week, instead of watching sitcoms, I’ve taken to reading the news. As an organizational trust researcher and communicator, I’m finding it not only highly educational but also wildly entertaining.

As I’ve said for many years, the ongoing trust crisis will certainly not abate until untrustworthy leaders sail off into the sunset or recognize the error of their ways and start advocating for change.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. 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) 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

Mar
22

 

If you lead an organization and want to build trust into its 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?

Almost every organizational challenge can be traced back to low trust… and a leader who has not checked the boxes.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. 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) 2017, Next Decade, Inc.

Mar
17

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

I was recently watching a John Oliver YouTube video about televangelists whose charities are somewhat suspicious, and it got me thinking about experts, “gurus” and “influencers.” Sadly, there are plenty of phony preachers in that space too. In fact, a colleague likes to remind me that not all trust experts are trustworthy. Imagine that!

These are some first-hand examples of phony preachers:

  • The leadership “consultant” who seeks out sound bytes from those with real expertise for an upcoming paid speaking “gig.” After all, why pass up the opportunity to get paid even if it’s for a speech you are not qualified to deliver.
  • The prolific leadership “writer” whose work is never written by them or even original. Quotes lifted from famous philosophers, entire blog entries cut and pasted from the work of others. And when called out, lies about it.
  • The world “renowned” nominee who asks for a vote for “Thinkers 50,” but who freely “borrows” PowerPoint and Slideshare presentations from those with genuine expertise, and when caught redhanded, brushes it off.
  • The “character expert” who writes about plagiarism, but doesn’t bother to check (or care) whether those whose work they themselves reference is original or plagiarized.
  • The “trust guru” who forgets to say “thank you” when a good deed is done for them.

Is it any wonder that trust continues to decline across all major institutions? After all, if the advisors, coaches, thought leaders, experts and influencers are not living that which they preach (and that’s being polite,) what other outcome could possibly be expected?

But every story has a silver lining. It’s called a bell curve and like any business, even in “trust” there are some real deals. I am honored to know many of them who have been named to our annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust over the past seven years.

In the early years of this annual recognition, someone suggested that there need not be a requirement that the honorees walk their talk. Imagine that suggestion! The “real deals” are not those who are the most active on social media or who claim a (t00) long laundry list of accomplishments. Instead, they are often the voice you may not hear, and whose name you may not recognize… researchers, scholars, consultants and leaders who have put in their time, paid their dues, and have earned the privilege to speak, consult and guide others. People with real credentials who know what trust is and act accordingly.

When I was a kid, my dad liked to remind me not to allow anyone to “pull a snow job.” If you’ve never heard that expression, Merriam-Webster offers the following definition: “a strong effort to make someone believe something by saying things that are not true or sincere.

Anyone can call themselves an expert. It’s up to the “buyer” to determine if they’ve earned the right to use that title.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 Barbara was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she was named a “Fellow” of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Mar
10

 

I am proud to announce my appointment as a Fellow of Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.

Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. is a for-profit strategies advisor, provider of consulting services and well-respected research firm serving leaders in organizations in the corporate (private), public and social/institutional sectors.

The Institute provides corporate and investment community clients with a portfolio of integrated services and resources to help leaders identify, quantify, monitor, analyze, and manage effective approaches to address critical issues — especially those reaching “the tipping point,” when resolution of [issues] may be harder to achieve.

To read more about the Institute’s Fellows, please visit this page.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 she was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

 

Feb
27

For the past four years Trust Across America’s Trust Alliance Members and Top Thought Leaders in Trust have collaborated on an annual poster to assist organizational leadership and teams in fostering trust. These are some highlights from our 2017 poster: Do’s and Don’ts to Foster Organizational Trust 

DO

  1. Act from the belief that trust can be measured in terms of its impact on business outcomes.
  1. Trust yourself first if you want others to trust you.
  1. Lead by example to allow trust to flourish.
  1. Make sure your team members are crystal clear on your organization’s mission and values.
  1. Act in accordance with those values and ethics so all stakeholders can trust you.

 

DON’T

  1. Take trust for granted or simply assume it exists.
  1. Expect organizations to reflect trust if it’s not embodied at the very top.
  1. Fall into trap of condoning or practicing cordial hypocrisy.
  1. Think trust is too difficult to talk about or tackle as an organizational, team, or personal relationship issue.
  1. Let ego, lack of personal awareness, or overt self-reliance impede trustworthiness.

Thank you to all our 2017 contributors. The following can be found on Twitter for more insights into organizational trust.

Patricia AburdeneBart AlexanderLea BrovedaniRandy ConleyStephen M.R. CoveyNatalie Doyle OldfieldJed EmersonCharles H. GreenNadine HackBarbara Brooks KimmelJim KouzesHolly Latty-MannCarol SanfordLinda Fisher ThorntonBob VanourekBob Whipple

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Feb
22

 

In our ongoing monthly Tuning in to Trust & Ethics series on elevating organizational trust and ethics, we asked our Trust Alliance members to weigh in on the following question:

Many believe that the HR function plays an important role in building organizational trust and trustworthiness. Do you agree or disagree and why?

Deb Mills-Scofield helps companies create dynamic strategic plans to promote a business-wide innovation mindset.

HR builds trust in how they behave every single day - with each other, their peers and all… Click To Tweet

Obviously, how HR deals with employees’ issues, complaints, and concerns conveys corporate culture.  Confidences need to be kept, gossip discouraged (especially by not participating in it), and root causes addressed.  People need to be held accountable. This applies equally, and perhaps even more importantly, to how HR interacts within their own organization and with their peers.  Double standards are common, but to create sustainable trust, they are absolutely unacceptable. Behavior matters.”

Donna Boehme is an international authority in the field of compliance and ethics.

I have always regarded HR as the beating heart of an organization. Click To Tweet

That’s because the mission and mandate of this critical function, as it’s name suggests, is all about a company’s people- and all aspects of the organizational cycle of their people, from hiring and on boarding/ orientation, to compensation, development and promotion; to retirement/ separation/discipline (as appropriate) of employees It’s obvious that organizations can only conduct business through their employees.  Thus, the manner in which the HR department discharges its mission is absolutely critical to the building of organizational trust and an ethical culture.  For this reason, experienced compliance and ethics professionals regard the HR function as a key partner in all aspects of their work.   It’s my observation that how well Compliance and HR work together on the shared goals of strong ethical culture and organizational trust is the critical factor.  Both functions need to work together to promote employees’ sense of “organizational justice” – probably the most important endeavor of their partnership.

Bob Whipple is a consultant who helps leaders build and maintain trust:

Without question the HR function has a lot to do with whether the culture will be one of high trust, but I think it works in a strange way. I think it is necessary but not sufficient.

If HR is not working with candor and transparency, then a culture of doubt will kindle that is hard… Click To Tweet  

But if HR shows the highest integrity and trustworthy behaviors, it will not be sufficient to create a high trust culture throughout the organization. Reason: I believe trust starts at the top of the organization and cascades throughout the various levels.  The most significant factor influencing a culture of trust is the behaviors of the most senior leader.  A problem leader at any level in the organization can thwart the culture, but a really great leader at the top will root out the problem and eliminate it.  If there is ethical dry rot at any level, the trust will be snuffed out like a candle hit with a bucket of water.

And finally Holly Latty-Mann, a clinical psychologist offers the following advice on HR’s role in building a trustworthy organization:

1) When HR questions management’s decisions that negatively impact the rights of the workforce, they serve equally both management and staff, garnering trust.

2) When HR represents without bias expressed concerns of workforce members to management, trust deepens on all levels.

3) HR is transparent without bias regarding actions staff can take when systems aren’t currently in place to honor legitimate needs, and

4) HR doesn’t play favorites by making themselves the gatekeepers as to who gets what. Click To Tweet

Trust building plays a vital role in the value system and subsequent long-term sustainability of any organization. It must not only be built into the cultural DNA, but must also be practiced and reinforced daily.

Hiring for trust, with the support of upper management should be just as important, if not more… Click To Tweet

The most progressive HR leaders will promote a culture of trust and assist in elevating it throughout the organization.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.