The Challenge of Trust

Event Details

The Challenge of Trust

Time: May 25, 2015 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: The Doric Bar in the Aberdeen Music Hall
Website or Map: https://www.google.co.uk/maps…
Event Type: discussion
Organized By: David F McAra
Latest Activity: May 17, 2015

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Event Description

Discussion leader:  Gary Henderson

I’m fascinated by the work of Frederic Laloux on Reinventing Organisations (http://www.reinventingorganizations.com) that was introduced to the group by Ross Howarth.  This session on ‘The Challenges of Trust follows on from the last one that David McAra presented on ‘Joy and Creativity at Work’.

 It’s clear that the organisations Laloux studied have developed a mutual trust throughout:

  • “One condition needs to be in place before starting out on a journey to foster people’s emotional investment in their work and the organisation: they have to trust the leader that wants to introduce self-management.”
  • “With no middle management and little staff, Teal Organisations dispense with the usual control mechanisms; they are built on foundations of mutual trust… The heart of the matter is that workers and employees are seen as reasonable people who can be trusted to do the right thing.  With that premise, very few rules and control mechanisms are needed.”

It appears that almost every commentator on leadership agrees that trust is a key component for organisational success.  Some other examples I’ve come across in my readings:

  • “Trust is mandatory for optimization of a system.... Without trust, each component will protect its own immediate interests to its own long-term detriment, and to the detriment of the entire system.” - W. Edwards Deming (1994)
  • “Members of a truly cohesive team must trust one another” - Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage (http://www.tablegroup.com/oh)

 So that’s agreed then, we need trust to be successful.  Sounds fantastic.  But how we go about establishing that trust is a real challenge.  There are two ends of the spectrum:

  1. Trust nobody – trust has to be earned.
  2. Trust everyone - until they give you reason to do otherwise

 It would appear that most models that are available work from the former principle and are focused on building trust.  Building a trusted relationship between two people is the relatively easy part.  We each make a conscious choice about who and how we trust and in a manager/employee relationship we’re still in control. 

What Laloux proposes in self-managing organisations is based on the latter principle,: “until we are proven wrong, trusting co-workers is our default means of engagement.”  It’s not about a single person-to-person relationship, it’s trusting the whole organisation. 

I’ll be honest, as a business leader, that scares me because I’ve had personal experiences in the past where my trust has been abused.  However, the same has happened to some of the organisations studied by Laloux, and they’ve dealt with those instances and carried on with their philosophy.

 Some questions we might want to ask ourselves;

  • Why don’t we trust others?  Is it actually a good thing not to trust others?
  • How can we go about trusting a whole organisation?
  • What should we do when our trust is compromised?
  • Can we have separate views on trust in our personal and professional situations?

NB. If you Plan-To-Attend please RSVP here.

NNB: For attendees, a voluntary donation of £10 towards the cost of hiring the room would be appreciated.

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Comment by Rob Warwick on May 17, 2015 at 3:49

This sounds great.  Alison Donaldson and I have a research project with Roffey Park on the subject of trust.  As part of this we have the following website: https://trustingrelationships.wordpress.com/.  After the summer, once our interviews and review of the literature is complete we will be running some workshops particularly with OD practitioners to explore who we can develop abilities to notice and talk about trust and how this might come to affect practice.  I can't get to your session sadly, but I would like to hear how you get on.  Also, if people would like to be involved in our project please say.

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