Chapter 29

Creating a Culture of Trust

Compared to many change initiatives, creating a culture of trust requires a greater emphasis on personal change, and a lesser emphasis on traditional organizational tools like role definitions, processes, and incentives. The two primary tools for trust initiatives are values and virtues. In this chapter we describe these in detail, offer assessment tools for each, and suggest mechanisms by which to introduce them into an organization.

A high-trust organization is made up of people who are trustworthy, and appropriately trusting, working together in an environment that actively encourages those behaviors in employees as well as stakeholders. Creating a culture of trust requires a different emphasis than do most change initiatives—such as those designed to reduce accident rates, to increase customer-centricity, or to become compliant with the ISO-9000 family of standards. Trust by its nature is about interpersonal relations. For people to trust and be trusted by others, they must take personal risks and face personal fears in ways that cannot, by their nature, be planned and structured. That suggests a special emphasis: an initiative built around personal change.

For people to trust and be trusted by others, they must take personal risks and face personal fears in ways that cannot, by their nature, be planned and structured.

You can compromise efforts to develop a culture of trust if you mistakenly apply methods and models of change built ...

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