An interesting story in the book “The Speed of Trust by Stephan MR Covey” is about a business that had been losing customers due to the fact that it took so long to give each person the right amount of change. The business owner decided on a solution, to one day leave a basket, with a few notes and coins, so that customers could collect their own change from the basket, surprisingly two things happened. Firstly, people were honest and secondly, the business increased profits without increasing costs. The key lesson from this, he learnt that day –  which was very valuable to business was this: “People want to be trusted, they respond well to trust and they thrive on trust”.

Trust seems like a fuzzy concept but what do we already know about trust?

We know that it is “confidence in a company or person which consists of character and competence”. Trust is the foundation block for every relationship. People will buy more of the products of brands they trust, recommend them, are more likely to try new products from these brands and even pay more, as we have seen with Apple.

Simon Sinek (Author) says ”When we surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe, trust emerges”. This showcases why organisations place importance on having a vision and values – it unites people to a shared purpose. When people feel united they are able to collaborate. These values are not rules but values are beliefs we live by. Jack Welch once said these words “live the values and deliver the results”.

In business, culture plays an important role as to how trust is established and developed. How can you tell the difference between a low trust and a high trust culture?

A low trust culture has politics, micro managing, the speed of implementation is slow due to many hoops that people have to jump through which also means lower productivity levels. There is a definite disconnect between the vision, values and the promise.

A high trust culture is partnering, has collaboration and creativity, open communication and the focus is on getting work done. This high trust culture brings freedom and with this freedom, it also brings about creativity. When you have creative collaboration and implementation of this creativity – that is when a brand is really able to innovate.

Leadership establishes the trust throughout an organisation. I like what Stephan MR Covey said “Leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust”.  A great starting point to establish trust as a leader, is to strengthen your credibility by having integrity, being transparent in your intentions, increasing your capability and consistently delivering results.

I highly recommend getting this valuable book, ‘The Speed of Trust by Stephan MR Covey’ for more insights – after all,

“the one thing that changes everything” is … TRUST.