Trust or rust … where is your organisation?

Let’s take a look at where you think your organisation might be on the trust-tax index from Steven J. Covey’s excellent book, “The Speed of Trust”.

You can use the tables to identify where your organisation is in terms of the most important things in business and then take time to openly discuss; individually with the CEO leading or collectively, facilitated by the CEO or HRD or with a trusted, neutral external facilitator. This should be done as a follow on from the first exercise, above, when the team is ready to face such a challenge … ideally within two weeks of writing the numbers.

“You can have all the facts and figures, all the supporting evidence, all the endorsements that you want, but if you don’t command trust, you won’t get anywhere.”
Niall Fitzgerald, former chairman, Unilever

“Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade”
Tom Peters, business author and consultant

“Speed happens when people really trust each other.”
Edward Marshall

“If you’re not fast, you’re dead.”
Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

So in short, if there is limited trust (oil), in any organisational machine, it will place itself in a far weaker position in terms of effectiveness, engagement, enjoyment or existence, than one that is actually discussing, dealing and deciding on the one ‘hard fact”, that has the ability to alter everything in that organisation.

So Trust or Rust indeed….
In fact ultimately, for the individual, the team, the organisation, the family or the community – it’s Trust, Rust or Bust..!!

And your action now is……………..??

Notice the organisations in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies To Work For List – they turn the tables, above, on their head and show that the five-year average returns of organisations in that list, outstrip any equivalent organisations in the FTSE 100 by over four times the level of profit – 15.1% c.f. 3.5% even during times of recession!

Take Google – their culture of trust, allows staff to spend 20% of their time on anything they want, while still obviously related to Google’s success. Thus they choose, something they ‘want to’ do and ENJOY doing (EQ).

Guess what – 50% of Google’s new products come from that 20% of free and trusted time!


  • if its effectiveness you’re after – trust is the key.
  • If its enjoyment you’re after – trust is the key
  • If its engagement you’re after – trust is the key

And the real profit here, (as financial profit is easy when people are effective, enjoying and engaged), is that the organisation succeeds, the employees succeed, their families succeed and the community in general grows and succeeds. (unlike that IQ banking world of almost complete mistrust and societal pain bereft of trust).


This article was written by Les Morgan of Q4

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