Monday, August 12, 2013

Restoring and maintaining trust

The National Association of Corporate Directors published an article some months ago offering suggestions as to how board members can contribute to the dialogue of restoring trust in capitalism and the system that has made the United States the dominant player in the economic world.  Recognizing that capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty and spurred incredible innovation it also has had its challenges.  Restoring and maintaining trust in our leadership in our companies, our non-profit organizations and our government is crucial.  Five straightforward suggestions were offered and I have listed them below with some editorial modification.

  1. Be the best we can be in the boardroom – Lead by example.  Bring every ounce of our experience, wisdom, objectivity and courage to the table every time.
  2. Stress the tone at the top – Develop and demand a culture that is ethical and that rewards integrity.  As the old saying goes, “You look for three qualities in any team member.  Intelligence, energy and integrity.  If they have the first two but not the last look out for real trouble.”
  3. Build a strong team that values openness and candor – We must trust and respect each other and we must be willing to speak our minds and have no agenda other than the well-being of our enterprise.  Your individual perspective could make the difference.
  4. Stay current and attuned – The political, regulatory and social environment are constantly changing.  We must be well-read and informed to make wise and useful decisions.
  5. Build a strategy that includes giving back to the community – Recognize our good fortune and pay it forward in our strategy.  Be a part of the community solution and not just a beneficiary.

These five simple strategies for restoring and maintaining trust can offer a foundation to any organization’s plan to build a lasting and important culture.  I hope they are of help to you.

S. Scott Voynich, Managing Partner