Trust Digest 4 (May 18, 2013)

Trust and the IRS
As the fallout continues from revelations about IRS targeting Tea Party groups, we learn more about trust. The initial diagnosis was that there were “partisan motives” which would be a violation of ethics (lack of fairness) and unconstrained self-interest (a lack of benevolent intentions or motives). As the story unfolds, evidence is appearing as it often does.  The root cause of the trust violations was incompetence – there was a “group of bad apples” who were not following proper procedures in part because they were poorly supervised and overwhelmed by the task confronting them.

To be truly trustworthy an organization must have multiple elements of trustworthiness:
Benevolent intent – do good when it is possible
Competence - deliver on commitments 
Integrity – do what you say you will
Predictability – develop a track record of reliability
Open communication – listen and communicate openly

These elements need to be deeply and pervasively embedded in the DNA of the firm to warrant stakeholders’ trust.  The IRS is only one of many institutions that need major work before they can be considered trustworthy. It’s time we stopped the blame and hyperbole and got to work in earnest to build trustworthy organizations!
Key Words: Partisan Motives, Unconstrained Self-Interest
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Predictability, Communication, Competence

Survey Roundup: C-Suite Worries, Sustainability Pays
There is strong evidence transparency resulting from sustainability reporting offers both financial and social advantages for businesses, according to a recent report from Ernst & Young and the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.
Key Words: Sustainability Reporting, Risk Management and Reporting Processes
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Transparency, Reputation

Chinese Environmental Protesters Demand Transparency
In the short space of several weeks, two provinces in China have seen three protests against the construction of oil refinery plants. Protesters say they are concerned about the possible health and environmental impact of the plants.
Key Word: Environmental Activism
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Accountability, Transparency

Leadership Tips for Organizational Integrity
An organization's culture reflects executive management's tone, with the organization's actions following executive management's instructions -- stated or implied.
Key Word: Organizational Integrity
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Transparency

Study: In business, women value ethics more than men
A study done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School suggests that women are less willing to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status, and that women associate business with immorality more strongly.
Key Word: Gender Gap
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Responsibility

Boeing works to regain public trust in 787, resumes deliveries
Boeing Co. is working to regain confidence in its beleaguered 787 Dreamliner jet by giving people with safety concerns a chance to participate in a live video chat with the plane’s chief product engineer.
Key Word: Safety Concerns
Trust Issues: Transparency, Accountability, Communication, Responsibility

Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
No longer is the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ a novel idea amongst businesses. A 2011 sustainability study by MIT showed that sustainability, in the US at least, now plays a permanent part in 70% of corporate agendas. Organisations such as Unilever haven’t simply been championing sustainable business as a form of corporate philanthropy. Since implementing their Sustainable Living Plan, they have increased growth and profits. Quite simply, doing good is good for business.
Key Word: Corporate Social Responsibility
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Accountability, Transparency

Can you learn to be ethical in business?
There is a constant flow of reports of lapses in corporate ethics, and so companies are adopting ethics codes and trying everything they can think of to reduce the pressure to violate such codes. If they needed more incentive, research out of the Wharton School recently suggests that doing business ethically could help businesses retain talented women.
Key Words: Ethics, Social Responsibility
Trust Issues: Ethics, Integrity, Accountability

Even In Victory, Tiger Woods Faces A Bad Lie As His Trustworthiness Once Again Suffers A Triple-Bogey
E-Poll Market Research recently shared Tiger’s E-Scores pertaining to his trustworthiness.  From 2003 until the fateful incident in late 2009 that ultimately sullied his marriage, Tiger’s trustworthiness scores ranged between 14 and 17 (i.e. 14-17% of people surveyed viewed Woods as trustworthy).  Since, those same scores have dropped to 1-2%.
Key Word: Ethics, Trustworthiness
Trust Issues: Ethics, Integrity, Accountability

'More transparency' needed in natural resource governance
More transparency is needed in how natural resources are managed around the world, according to a report. Revenue Watch says revenue from oil, gas and minerals can create huge natural wealth. But this is not always converted into human prosperity because of "mismanagement, a lack of transparency and corruption".
Key Word: Resource Governance
Trust Issues: Ethics, Integrity, Accountability, Transparency

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