Trust is often the by-product of a set of actions rather than the goal of any specific action. It is often innate; people trust others that they deem to be most like themselves, (until they are proved untrustworthy), it’s the local babysitter conundrum; where in any particular neighbourhood the residents are far more likely to choose a teenage babysitter, the son or daughter of a friend, from the local area rather than a qualified babysitter with 10 years experience that has just moved in.
It takes time to build trust. Counter-intuituively, those brands that have been around for the longest should have access to the most data, but it is often the case that they do not, predominantly due to the way in which they have grown. They have spend too much time either looking inwards to themselves or at their competitors, rather than focussing on their customers. This has meant that there is little brand loyalty, with customers switching allegiances, and with it their data with little incentive for them to give up their data for any of the parties concerned.
Trust is easily lost. Security breaches have rocked all industry segments, and is obviously going to heighten the awareness of customers about the importance of their data, and who they share it with. It is those with trust that has multiple facets that rebound quickest. As with your personal relationships those with whom you are closest are more likely forgiven their misdemeanours quicker than those with which you interact with less frequently.
Silos! The root of inefficiency in many a large organisation. I have noted that information from internal systems, or departments should be relatively simple to come by, since it is ‘owned’. This is not just true at team level, but within departments and entire Business Units. Each unwilling to share data with their peers. Now, a lot of this may be due to a culture of blame and protecting themselves from something being pinned on them. Is this blame the result of a lack of trust between groups?
In agile, the close collaboration of individuals in a cross-functional group is often hailed as the magic that makes it work. Though this is not necessarily always the case the premise is sound. Teams that openly share information with each other when working towards a common goal will outperform teams that do not. This open collaboration requires trust, facilitated by the ‘common goal’. It should be noted however that sharing between agile teams is not always great either. Jeff Bezos mandate that all data should be accessible via API for use by other teams is an example of how we can enforce trust by mandate.
Whilst this is true at all levels the C-suite executives are not exempt. They too can often exist in their own little fiefdoms and seldom is data openly shared, which left unchecked by the CEO can result in in-fighting and loss of external focus. The fact that it can only be affected by the CEO is a statement of how important trust IS.
Read a previous post in this series here