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Which one of the following three core drivers of success for your organisation in 2019 would you choose?

  1. The capacity to INNOVATE
  2. The capacity to be AGILE
  3. The capacity to build TRUST

While an aim to be more innovative or agile is important in the exponentially disruptive and competitive world organisations operate in, innovation and agility are extremely difficult, if not impossible to achieve without trust.

A recent PWC report highlights that...

"A lack of trust is directly damaging for economic growth... and for a company's success, holding back investments, entrepreneurship and innovation."

The importance of focusing on trust is further highlighted by Edelman research reportingglobally we live in a world where distrust has become the norm and in Australia, 2018 saw our levels of trust in the media, government, business and not-for-profit sectors continue to decline.

In 2019, more corporate leaders are proactively putting the topic of trust onto their strategic, operational and conference agendas.

The recent fallout from the Australian Royal Commission into Banking and Finance has highlightedto corporate leaders, if you’re in the position of needing to reactively 'Regain Trust', it's extremely damaging and probably too late.

The Danger of Trust 'Apathy'

Trust Apathy occurs because most people believe they are trustworthy, and these corporate breaches of trust don't really apply to them.

The reality is, trust is woven through the fabric of our daily lives in so many ways, we are often not even aware of where we have automatically placed our trust.

We automatically trust the quality and safety of the toothpaste, soap and shampoo we use.

Most of us don't consider what the ingredients are, where they were sourced, how ethical (or legal) the manufacturer's operation is, or how they treat their workers.

We automatically place our trust in the car we drive to work will get us to our destination safely.

And yet, in Australia more than four million car owners discovered their lives were at risk every time they got into their cars because of faulty airbags .

We automatically trust that the coffee we drink during our work breaks and the food we buy for lunch is safe for us to eat and drink.

However, according to the NSW Government Food Authority, it's estimated 4.1 million Australians experience food poisoning annually.

These are just some of many examples where we place our trust automatically in our everyday lives, and highlights just how important trust is to our very existence.

They also highlight how this automatic placement of trust can be misplaced, questioned and breached… and sometimes, in both our professional and personal lives, with disastrous results.

The triangle of three trusts

The Solution

In the corporate world, to overcome the real and present danger of trust apathy, leaders and their teams need to be proactively (not reactively) developing the confidence and control required for self-trust; the courage and collaboration required to trust others, and the combined character, competence and consistency required to earn others' trust.

Viewing trust through these three lenses (self-trust, trust in others, and earning others' trust), will positively impact almost every measure of individual, team and corporate success.

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