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The Purpose: Collaborate with Trust-driven Cultures

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world— one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. (1)

That one thing is TRUST.  

Culture of Trust is a non-negotiable to advancing any business, home or organization.  Much has been said about developing a culture, and specifically how to develop a high yielding culture, yet few have clearly understood and identified what a profit environment needs to have in order to effect maximized results.

Culture is that set of beliefs which govern Attitudes, Beliefs and Commitments, that form behaviors. 

In the Book, Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey, he identifies 13 behaviors as necessary to build and maintain trust.  In addition to those behaviors Mr. Covey provides metrics to actually know where you are presently and gives you the ability to benchmark your position so that you can evaluate the future with these behavioral analysis tools. 

Talk straight, demonstrate respect, create transparency, right wrongs, show loyalty, deliver results, get better, confront reality, clarify expectations, practice accountability, listen first, keep commitments, express trust.

I will add one more behavior, it is perhaps the Master Key to brilliant collaborative cultures that contain the element of real trust, and that is to be a SERVING LEADER.   To model the characteristics that inspire others to greatness, not just speak it rather to live it by design.

When we are influential in shaping the behavior and values of others, we think of that as “leadership” and are creating the conditions for new culture formation. (2)

Our Portacle Orb includes, Character, Trust and Passion as vitals needed to grow, yet the vital element that holds things together is TRUST.   

People do business with people they trust.  Trust or lack thereof has a way of informing the Attitude of a person or entity.   Your culture is the DNA that is formed as a result. 

Attitudes form beliefs, which manifest behaviors.   The behaviors that is present through the rank and file creates the culture.  If gossip is supported, the culture may be identified as toxic at best or contentious and rotten to the core.  If edification and esteem building is encouraged the culture may be identified as loving and safe.  It is obvious to the reader that one is preferred while the other is not.

It's important to make this manifest when dealing with your buyer. "Cognitive dissonance" is the unequivocal foe of culture change. If management tells employees that customer service quality is the top priority, but rewards people based on the number of calls taken per hour, the organization is saying one thing and doing another. Call rates will go up, but service will deteriorate. (3)

Cognitive dissonance - is the mental stress produced when a culture is being engineered around Attitudes, Beliefs and Commitments and the participants behavior is incongruent with the desired advanced culture.

Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and they are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it. (4)

Change is a process, developing a culture of trust takes time and it should be understood that when you attempt a transformational process it requires commitment and resources.  If you have identified for yourself that what exists presently is not what you had hope for, that is the beginning of the process.  

Maturing a group of people and helping to establish a culture of trust is most likely achieved when those who are involved in the process can move from the head to the heart.  It requires champions to be fully committed at heart level if sustainable change is desired.

The reason why we entitled this chapter, the purpose is because the assumption is that you want to build your life and the lives of others in a matter that prospers.  In the change process curve you'll note that we begin by establishing passion,  then directly move into trust them directly moving to trust, and conclude when the character all the business and organization is built around higher purpose, which is Leaving a Legacy of Leaders™.

The starting place is to begin with a clear end in mind.  This is the basis for ultimate change.  A vision of the future that is realistic and a process to get you to that place.  Short of a process the vision may only fade away and when you wake up you most likely will have never accomplished that vision.  It involves discipline, persistence and the willingness to go the distance with a long view in mind. 

There are two kinds of change, of course: There is the change that is thrust on the client from competitors, government, consumers, climate, environment, social mores, technology, new knowledge, perception, and a raft of other, often fickle, factors. Then there is change that is deliberately wrought, either to escape the doldrums or to magnificently raise the bar to a still higher championship altitude. (5)

To be clear, the kind of change we are talking about here is to introduce principles that have been time tested and proven to raise the bar and when implemented develop a culture of Profit.  

Trust and collaboration are like the hand and glove.  The hand needs the glove to keep it protected, and the glove needs the hand in order to have a purpose.  Safe Power™ is grown when trust is at the core of collaboration, it diminishes when what is on the inside does not collaborate to reach common goals.  Clearly when we consider a change process that is designed to last, we are describing a process opposed to taking a pass/fail test.  Fact is that a process includes making mistakes, failure as well as victories.  The key to effective change is to remove the restraints.  As an example I was having lunch today with a very close friend, in the conversation I heard him describe his concern with this son.  His son as a college student and recently took an exam and believes that he will be failing the course.  When the evidence shows up, his son may in fact get an F.   The point is that according to the standards that are set are not in agreement with the correct answers, the end result may point to the letter F.  The greater issue however is the attitude of the student and how that grade is  evaluated.  There facts may come into place here, and the questions that may need to be asked are essentially the cause of the failing grade.  For instance, did the instructor/teacher fail to provide adequate predatory tools and resources?  Did the student fail to learn the material?  Was the student even remotely interested in be course curriculum?  Interestingly, this same young man is a very gifted musician.  His talent or passion seems to be  stronger in the area of creating amazing music than learning physics.  It is critical to understand that because a person has an aptitude in one area, they may not desire or excel in another. 

The concept of collaborative trust is crucial to building teams.

Teams win when their individual members trust each other enough to prioritize team success over individual glory ; paradoxically, winning as a team is the best way for the team members to achieve individual success. (6)

Developing a culture of trust considers the many factors needed in effort to establish that culture.  Wisdom is very important, when you apply a process with wisdom you get understanding.  Much like my friends son, it was not the grade that was the concern but the future of the young man.  When you think about building your business culture the idea of focusing around trust will give you the competitive advantage.

It might be, that the young man does not graduate  and instead he becomes a world famous musician.   When you think about orchestration a culture, consider that it is really not a test, its more about the process.  Failure only happens when we refuse to try.   

So the question that is begging for an answer like a street bumb begs for food, is simply why is TRUST so vital.  

Trustworthiness— once exemplified by a simple firm handshake— is a business value that has suffered erosion. We see this in how the public has grown increasingly cynical about corporate behavior—with good reason. (7) The PR firm Edelman found in a recent “Trust Barometer” survey that trust, transparency, and honest business practices influence corporate reputation more than the quality of products and services or financial performance. (8)

In addition to the importance of Trust as the key element to culture, we also are learning that there is value to long term achievement.  As part building a “BRAND” trust is vital.   The cultures is the DNA, the BRAND is the evidence that shows up, and how the world sees you.  It’s Fascinating.  www.itsfascinating.com

Trust is a vital component of every successful business transaction, which grows when expectations are consistently met or exceeded. Branding is the conscious management of the elements that build trust. Trust elements go far beyond a simple interaction between customers and purchases. Trust is part of every public and corporate interaction, including: the hiring process, corporate investments, supplying the company with goods or services, local operations and media coverage. Without trust, the company will cease to function. (9)

Gaining and maintaining trust is the process of understanding essentially what makes trust happen, and what it takes to keep that trust over time.  The wisdom key is not simply a culture of trust, but a culture that has a commitment to “TRUST-DRIVEN COLLABORATION.”

Trust-driven Collaboration is the combined efforts of a well detailed process that aligns the team to very specific goals that produces optimal shared results.  It is no longer good enough to have a team with one or two heavy hitters.  The day of coddling the sales department and spanking the janitors is over.  Fact is we now have to clean our own toilets and scrub the floors.  Good old fashioned diligent hard work, including blood, sweat and tears… is the common denominator  to higher personal and professional achievement.  

The Portacle™ Virtue Orb, gives illustration to understanding the the components needed to gain peek results.  The concept of the Orb is that a culture engineered with Trust, Passion and Character will perform remarkably. 

Collaboration is enhanced by trust, and the experience of collaboration can help reinforce trust. The concepts of process and intentional design lead an organization and it’s people to volunteer to take on greater responsibilities.  When this process is engineered and executed the bottom line will most often improve.  Continuous improvement while empowering the best behaviors, leads to progress.   An old slogan of ours is “Progress is in the Process.” and another one I just considered, “No Process, No Progress.   The point is to have metrics and gauge the advancements. 

Collaboration has a purpose.   In the book, 10,000 horses, the author highlights that purpose. “When a leader prepares to get something done, he starts by asking people to contribute what strengths and assets they have to accomplish the plan. He fits the strengths together by assigning people to roles in which they can succeed. What we must learn is how to be a receiver. We must always be in a posture of receiving, of appreciating, of loving; we must do that if we want the people who help us to eventually take the risk of bringing their whole selves to the effort.” (10)

Collaboration is more than simply having the desire to work together with others, it is taking an inventory of the giftedness of each party and ensuring that those people are contributing to serve a greater good with specific and tangible ends.  

Collaboration in its finest form is a negotiation that is trustworthy.  A genuinely highly collaborative environment will eliminate control and manipulation and rather chooses to serve with a Longview for the betterment of community. 

Excerpt from "Portals of Inspriration - Connected to Safe Power. - William Winship

(1) Covey, Stephen M.R.; Merrill, Rebecca R. (2006-10-17). The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything (p. 1). Free Press. Kindle Edition. 

(2) Schein, Edgar H. (2010-07-16). Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series) . John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition. 

(3) Alan Weiss. Process Consulting: How to Launch, Implement, and Conclude Successful Consulting Projects (Ultimate Consultant Series) (Kindle Locations 770-772). Kindle Edition. 

(4) Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. California: Stanford University Press.

(5) Alan Weiss. Process Consulting: How to Launch, Implement, and Conclude Successful Consulting Projects (Ultimate Consultant Series) (Kindle Locations 755-757). Kindle Edition. 

(6) Hoffman, Reid; Casnocha, Ben; Yeh, Chris (2014-07-08). The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (Kindle Locations 154-156). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. 

(7) (2013-11-01). Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset (Kindle Locations 271-275). Next Decade, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

(8) Argenti, Lytton-Hitchins and Verity, Booz & Co., Strategy & Business Issue 61, Winter 2010

(9) (2013-11-01). Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset (Kindle Locations 652-656). Next Decade, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

(10) Stahl-Wert, John; Jennings, Ken (2007-06-18). Ten Thousand Horses: How Leaders Harness Raw Potential for Extraordinary Results (p. 54). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.