Trust – Part I: The Need for Trust
Trust in Corporations?
Trust in corporations is at an all-time low. For the past 10 years, Edelman has released an annual trust report and according to the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer, U.S. respondents trust in corporations eroded to 38%, a 20 percentage point decline from 2008 numbers. This means only a third of the public trust organizations to do what is right.
Trust is the cornerstone to business and capitalism. Without trust, people stop buying. Without trust, business ceases to function. Without trust, the whole system falls apart. You could argue that the underpinnings of our current global economic climate is an erosion of trust.
Trust is at the core of a business’ license to operate. It is key to both corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Long-term business sustainability is dependent upon relationships of trust with all stakeholders (customers, employees, supply chain, shareholders, etc) – the essence of corporate social responsibility.
What does this mean to business and CSR if nearly two thirds of the U.S. Public does not trust business?
As we move through these challenging times and ahead to the future, it is essential that we understand and act upon this most basic of business relationship components – trust. We, businesses and individuals, have to go back to the basics and relearn or learn for the first time what exactly trust is.
In this series we’ll explore:
Trust – Part II: What Is Trust?
Trust – Part III: Build, Destroy, Restore
Trust – Part IV: Corporate Social Responsibility
In closing, I’ll echo the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer Report closing statement: “If businesses are to regain trust, they will need to adopt a strategy of Public Engagement, by means of a shift in policy and communications. The essence of Public Engagement is the commitment of companies to say—and do as they say.”
Copyright ©2009 Matthew Rochte, Opportunity Sustainability℠ – Share with attribution
Opportunity Sustainability℠ is a Midwest-based sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting firm specializing in green innovation and seeing opportunities where others see burdens. Matthew Rochte LEED AP, an experienced, operations-based sustainability consultant, working with company management to navigate and realize the opportunities in taking their company green and growing sustainably.