Apr
06

Aug
12

Trust Elevates Profits

Why should Boards and their CEOs focus on building stakeholder trust? Our FACTS® Framework calculates the trustworthiness of US based public companies, and we have issued an annual report of our findings since 2012.

On average, the “Top 10″ most trustworthy public companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by over 30% annually. 

That’s why.

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.

Aug
04

 

A simple message for the C-Suite…

Rules, regulations and policies are not substitutes for trust, ethics or corporate responsibility.

I would like to pose one question to each of the following five CEOs whose organizations hijacked my time this week:

JP Morgan Chase and Jamie Dimon: Do you think your policy of cancelling a widow’s credit card within two weeks of the death of their spouse, and with no notice, is the “right thing” to do simply because they are not the “primary?” It hasn’t been too long since you lost your parents. What if it was your mother who had been embarrassed at CVS over an $8.00 purchase on her Chase credit card?

Comcast and Brian Roberts: If I must have a landline for Triple Play, might you have an ethical responsibility to find a way to stop the dozens of robocalls that plague me every day? Surely, the expense of doing so would be far less than the “intangible” customer loyalty that could be quickly built.

Wolverine and Blake Krueger: Do you want to build or bust trust with your customers?  Your reps are demanding that I first buy a new pair of Sperrys online, cut the tongues out of my existing loafers, send you a picture, and then your company will reimburse me for YOUR shoes that fell apart 4 weeks after purchasing them. Why would I EVER buy another pair of shoes from you again?

State Farm and Michael Tipsord: When did you decide that cutting corners in hiring and training, (and probably hourly wages) in your claims department was “good” ethics, and do they get a bonus for making stuff up?

Blue Cross of NJ and Kevin Conlin (who recently replaced Robert Marino:) Do you care that your customers are miserable because you get so few things right? The most recent example being when you denied coverage because “another policy was in place” even though a termination letter was provided to you. A simple check of your internal records would have revealed that the “old” policy was also with YOUR company. Now the loyal customer has NO coverage due to your internal snafu.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and its Trust Alliance has recently published a set of universal Principles called TAP. One of the 12 principles is Purpose:

We engage our stakeholders to build shared purpose – we avoid short term “wins” that undermine future success.

You can read more about TAP in the latest issue of TRUST! Magazine.

After 10+ years of studying organizational trust, one thing is for certain. Trust and ethics are a “top-down” strategy. Without buy-in from the CEO, watch out below and “buyer beware.” The silver lining…not all companies (or their leaders) are created equal. Some have proactively embraced elevating stakeholder trust and ethics, and they are reaping the long-term rewards.

Who do you think will be the first of the five CEOs to publicly respond? Do you have any examples (good or bad) that you would like to add to this list?

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.

Photo Attribution: Alpha Stock Images – alphastockimages.com/

 

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.

 

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.

 

May
30

(Source: G.Palazzo, F. Krings, Journal of Business Ethics, 2011).

 

Many models of (un)ethical decision making assume that people decide rationally and are in principle able to evaluate their decisions from a moral point of view. However, people might behave unethically without being aware of it. They are ethically blind.

 

As organizations are comprised of individuals, Ethical Blindness naturally extends into the workplace. Some business sectors appear to be more ethically blind than others, and this creates enormous enterprise risk. This chart shows the trustworthiness of the major sectors for the Russell 1000 companies based on Trust Across America’s FACTS(R) Framework.

 

Ethical blindness can be corrected if leaders choose to be “tuned in” to the warning signs described below:

  • The Board of Directors does not have established long-term policies or procedures in place to elevate ethical and trustworthy behavior with their internal and external stakeholders. For more information see the Spring Issue of Trust Magazine.
  • Leaders, unless they are ethically “aware” by nature, are not proactive about elevating trust or ethics as there is no mandate to do so. When a crisis occurs, the “fix” follows a common “external facing” script involving a costly and unnecessary PR campaign. Wells Fargo’s latest “building trust” television commercial provides a timely example. Meanwhile internally, it’s “business as usual.”
  • Discussions of short term gains and cost cutting dominate most group meetings. The pressure to perform is intense and the language used is very strong.
  • The Legal and Compliance departments are large and growing faster than any other function.
  • The organizational culture is a mystery. No clear “ownership” of ethical or trustworthy business practices or decision-making exist. Think “hot potato.”
  • Discussions/training on ethics and trust rarely occur and when they do, they are lead by either the compliance or legal department and focus on rules, not ethics and trust.
  • Ethical considerations/testing are not part of the hiring process and fear is widespread among employees.

Is Ethical Blindness at the organizational level fixable? Absolutely. But the first order of business requires leadership acknowledgement and commitment to elevating organizational trust and ethics.

These 12 Principles called TAP, were developed over the course of a year by a group of ethics and trust experts who comprise our Trust Alliance. They should serve as a great starting place for not only a discussion but a clear roadmap to eradicating Ethical Blindness. As a recent TAP commenter said:

An environment /culture that operates within this ethos sounds an awesome place to me , I would work there tomorrow if I knew where to look for it. 

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.

 

 

 

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.

May
01

That’s a brash statement, but the facts are the facts. One of the most enlightening moments of my ten-year career leading TAA-TAW came early when a CEO of a large public company said to me “Trust, I never thought about it, but I like that word.” And that statement is why most companies suck at trust.

The daily news discussion of institutional breaches of trust should raise some eyebrows in Boards and C-Suites, but there is little evidence that it does. In public companies, the reasons why are rather simple. The Board and CEO are unwilling to adopt trust-building as a long-term strategy because it may, in the very short-term, impact:

  • Quarterly earnings
  • Wall Street “guidance”
  • Shareholder value
  • Their compensation and tenure

And they are not willing to sacrifice any of these, not even for one quarter.

Some other reasons why leaders in both public and private companies, suck at trust may include:

  1. They were appointed to their position for the wrong reasons. Former fraternity brothers and college lacrosse teammates don’t always make the best CEOs.
  2. They don’t know what matters to the people they lead, and some simply don’t care.
  3. Their well-written mission and vision statement is not practiced. We’re committed to the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and principled performance. We do the right thing, in the right way, and hold ourselves accountable. (Wells Fargo Vision and Values)
  4. Their legal and compliance team sets the ethical barometer, doing only what is “legal” as opposed to what is “right.”
  5. They believe that crisis repair is less costly than building long-term trust. They will not speak publicly about their organization’s values, ethics, integrity or trust-building until after the breach.
  6. They have never set aside a budget for trust because it is mistakenly viewed as a soft skill.

Industry is not destiny nor is any company perfect. But when the Board and the CEO suck at trust, the chances are that all the employees will too. That’s too bad for the company, especially since the business case for trust continues to be proven.

If you are a Board member, director or CEO interested in elevating trust in your organization, please read the latest issue of TRUST! Magazine.

If you work in any organization of any size and are interested in elevating trust, please read our recently released global TAP principles. They are now available in 5 languages.

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Apr
18

Organizations are being challenged to become more trustworthy. We often hear about trust in the context of rebuilding it after a crisis. But to maintain long-term, positive stakeholder relationships, leaders must make trust an intentional organizational imperative.

According to Barbara Kimmel, CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, “In order to effect change, trust can no longer be taken for granted. It is not a “soft skill” but rather a proactive intentional business strategy. Leaders must become trust “activists.” Those who choose to take a reactive approach are creating unnecessary enterprise risk.

How does the trust dialogue begin?

Prepared in collaboration with the Trust Alliance, the world’s largest group of trust scholars and practitioners, the Trust Alliance Principles (TAP) can be applied and practiced in any organization of any size. By adopting TAP, trust is built one person, team, project and organization at a time.

Take a look at these twelve words. They form the TAP INTO TRUST acronym. Each one of them can stand alone as a starting place to elevate trust in any size group in any organization anywhere.

For more information on TAP and the Principle behind each word, click on the “TAP INTO TRUST” blue button to the right.

Access our press release announcing this new program at this link.

Copyright 2018 Next Decade, Inc.