Trust isn’t just a word

So often the word ‘trust’ is thrown around without any real consideration for its meaning. It’s a heavily loaded term that carries expectations and these need to be effectively managed.

What executives often fail to realise is that it is worse to promote a value/belief and not live up to it, than to not promote the value at all.

So, if you happen to communicate a value like ‘Trust’ in your efforts to better manage Reputation, remember it is not what you say but what you do and how you do it that counts.

The character of your company is on public view every time a customer promise is delivered and every time a customer promise is broken. When these promises are constantly broken your reputation will be inevitably damaged.

One of the reasons there is such a lack of alignment between what is promoted in an annual report and what goes on inside a large company today is a unilateral focus on competence.

It is perfectly fine to have transactional relationships when it is clear that this is all you wish to deliver. If you don’t plan on delivering anything more than a functional product/service then avoid building an expectation of offering anything further.

It is obviously important to hire and train employees who know what they are doing. However, it is also critical to recruit people who actually believe in, and care about what your company stands for.

One way to start managing your company’s identity more consistently is to reflect on the purpose of your organisation. Beyond making money (which is an outcome not a purpose) ask:

  1. Why does our company exist?
  2. Can we trust ourselves to deliver on this purpose?
  3. How do our customers actually benefit from this?

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