Trust: The ability to make a connection when a person has yet to prove accountability. Models like Great Places to Work identify Credibility, Respect and Fairness as the building blocks of trust. In fact, many organizations believe that trust is something embedded in their values and that it comes over a set period of time. Most often from the top down. In other words, if executives are trustworthy and trusting, then the organization has a higher level of trust. Yet there is a way to build trust quickly in the very first encounter. What we call Trust Velocity. Communicating in a way that demonstrates we are genuinely curious and committed to helping the person we are speaking with is a great way to build trust. That is why our philosophy of trust calls for such emphasis on how we communicate, and it's the focus of our initial encounters with organizations.
The philosophy is that we can get to a place of trust quickly and that we must establish ways for that trust to be maintained.So, rather than waiting for someone to prove herself before trusting (that in itself makes us a bit less trusting!), we create a way of communicating that inherently contains and fosters trust. The result of building trust quickly and solidly within an organization is far-reaching and has significant bottom-line value:
- Achieving high levels of trust is essential for sales organizations. We work with those on the front lines to nurture the deeper connections that increase both the speed of the sales cycles and the closing rate for all team members.
- Trust is always an evaluation criteria when performing due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, but it's often unspoken and, therefore, can be deadly. In fact, questions involving trust that are not brought to the surface can easily derail efforts, leaving both parties pointing the finger, but never naming trust directly. We make trust building core from the beginning and flush out and solve issues before they become roadblocks.
- Successful change management is grounded in trust. Because risk is a natural part of change, change initiatives in organizations that are not trust-based are typically packed with struggle and conflict. While some organizations do work through this, it takes a much longer time than it would have if trust had been built into the organizational DNA.
Trust Velocity in Action: Overcoming the difficulty of culture change and the key to rapid transformationCulture is comprised of the values, beliefs, behaviors and atmosphere expressed in an organization. It is created from the top down. So, if it isn't lived by management, it won't permeate the entire organization. For anything to be engrained in the culture of an organization, 90% of employees must be aligned with those values and exhibit those behaviors to create that atmosphere. This means that if more than 10 employees out of 100 do not share leadership's values, beliefs and behaviors, culture is at risk. It's why culture change is perceived to be so difficult. Often the mere thought of "changing the culture" is so overwhelming that many leaders give up new plans and allow their organization to become even more entrenched in the status quo. And it's why we do something quite radical. Emergent encourages organizations to focus on the environments within the organization, rather than on culture at a high level. In other words, we build high-functioning environments from the bottom up. What are environments? Environment is the grassroots level of an organization – where individuals directly work – such as in operating groups, departments and teams. It's the practices and interactions that actually happen within the culture on a daily basis. When an organization needs to change to stay relevant and we hear "our culture is so set in its ways" or "that's against our culture," we start at this grassroots level and create culture from the ground up. It works as effectively and fast as it does in the broader world. As anthropologist Margaret Mead stated:
Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.The radical act of starting in the environment and establishing better ways of doing things in order to transform gives groups control over their domain. An empowering and trust-building way of working through change. What's remarkable is how rapidly empowered environments spread to other groups within the workplace – until the organization regains that 90% alignment. At that point, the desired change is engrained in the culture. If your organization is embarking on a change initiative (or is already in process), we can help you avoid the obstacles so typical to these endeavors or course correct if needed. Contact us and let's make change together.