Those of us attending Day 1 of the ECI annual conference yesterday had the pleasure of listening to Stephen Covey describing the importance of trust in organizations.
Mr. Covey summarized the findings of his research, which is detailed in his book The Speed of Trust. As I listened to him describe how trust-generating behaviors directly, and dramatically, affect the performance of organizations, I saw a parallel with ECI’s own research showing how an ethical culture – built on trust – significantly reduces organizational risks.
As a practitioner working to constantly improve ethical culture, I am often overwhelmed by the multiple facets of culture. Where should you start? What levers give you the most leverage? What processes can have the most impact on culture? As it turns out, focusing on trust simplifies the problem. Creating trust might actually be the best way to make quantum leaps in improving any culture.
As Mr. Covey said, whether you are trying to build a performing culture, an ethical culture, an innovative culture, or any other type of positive culture, creating trust is essential to your success. If you are not convinced, consider this: would it be possible to create the culture you desire without trust?
The Speed of Trust identifies 13 behaviors, all very practical, that any leader can learn to increase the trust level in her team. I noticed several behaviors that I’m not very good at and I’m excited to put them into practice. I can’t wait to see how this will improve my effectiveness and the value I bring to my organization.