Oh the halcyon days of 2007! Before the bubble burst. Before the muck hit the fan, and quicker than Dave, George or Nick could say ‘ha, ha fooled ya!’ Here we are, last quartile of 2012 and the needs within organisations seems far more urgent than in those bygone times.
The one thing that seems to be at a premium is trust. Can I trust this information? Can I trust what you say? Will this help us? How do we know for sure? That’s a tall order. Not only that…your clients are depending on YOU to deliver. TRUST. It’s the unseen engine of business relationships…of all relationships.
Often, we trust what we know. Sometimes we trust blindly…because someone or something looks or acts the part. Sometimes we trust because we get a recommendation from a trusted source…a source built from or by experience and satisfaction with outcomes. Sometimes..we don’t really trust at all. We tolerate. We comply or retreat to procedure.
Each missed deadline. Each miscommunication. Each near miss..can prove fatal in the final analysis. Trust is the glue that holds it all together. Difficulties are much more easy to overcome in an environment of trust.
Also. Not everyone starts with an equal trust quota. Not only that. Our levels of trust like inflation can go up and down according to investments in and experiences of. You trust a little more after a a good experience, and perhaps a little or a lot less after a bad or distasteful one.
Several weeks ago, 2 policewomen were murdered whilst on the course of their duties. As you do, I was discussing this with my family…my daughter in this case.
Initially, like any right minded person, she was shocked and saddend by this senseless loss of life. Then she asked. Mum, was the person who did this black? I said I didn’t think so…not to my knowledge. My daughter then breathed a sigh of relief.
Why did she ask me this question? It’s a complex and difficult area. When certain issues such as these hit the mainstream, they tend to polarise opinion. Often…that opinion is not entirely rational from either side of the argument, and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. However cultural stereotyping can often creates an atmoshphere of distrust between different groups. This trust can take a long time to build and can be fragile and easily shattered.
Speaking for myself and not my community here (but I’m positive that many feel the same as I do)… I often hold some of the institutions such as Government or Police with a healthy dose of suspicion. Not because of some irrational position, but because of an erosion of my trust in those institutions developed by time, observation and experiences. Yes…My family and I have experienced much good from these institutions as well as others recently maligned. From decent and trustworthy members of those organisations, or from great goods and services. Shouldn’t we expect this for the most part? However, we always expect decent treatment, and remember the bad. It’s that gap between expectation and experience where a reinforcement or breakdown can occur. Those are the experiences that stand out in our minds and erode our trust quota.
This sad and tragic case of those policewoman and other scandals such as phone hacking, sex abuse scandals etc comes at a time when there is a climate of change and disruption within many corporations, institutions and the public. At the heart of many of these are basic issues of trust. Trust that has been abused by individuals, or groups of individuals within organisations…and been allowed to take root.