Trust and culture in the financial industry

Rebuilding trust in institutions and organizations is vital for western society. Likewise, It is utterly important that employees can trust their organization to act ethically and fair. I do believe that building and rebuilding trust on the macro level will be a deciding factor for where western society goes from here.

I also believe that, in the 80’s and 90’s the building of trust between team members in organisations was key to organizational success. However, the world has changed. Today we often need to make decisions together with people who we have not worked with before, and might not work with again. In such situations we can not expect there to be trust between all collaborators, still since many of our organizations most important challenges (think of your last crisis or cross collaboration across teams and divisions) need to be taken in such context, we can not afford low decision quality.

Unfortunately Trust has multiple definitions which creates alot of confusion. For example, the trust described in the first paragraph of this post is vital to organisational success, while interpersonal trust between collaborators is not vital to decision making. To say that trust is not always the most important thing and to challenge overused and inaccurate heuristics like “It all starts with trust” and “Collaboration is all about trust” is very important as the world becomes more complex. I’ll write more posts on this, and I’m working on a series of articles on the topic.

In the meanwhile here is a link to a digital panel I did with the Federal Reserve of New York on the topic of Trust and Culture in the financial industry. It was a true pleasure to collaborate with such fantastic panelists (Deidre Campbell from Edelman, Shalene Gupta from Harvard Business School and Jordan A. Thomas from SEC Whistleblower Advocates PLLC). Our conversations before, during and after this panel was truly generative.