xxiii) Lack Of Trust

Lack of trust (it can be one of the first casualties of change) - it is one of the paradoxes of change that trust can be the hardest to establish and maintain when you need it the most, ie if an organisation is in trouble or in a change process, lack of trust tends to automatically emerge as a serious barrier.

Trust is linked with predictability: in the past, predictability has involved creating order and known outcomes, and helped to hold organisations together. The erosion of predictability is linked with

- a discontinuous, accelerating, changing world

- the use of management techniques such as downsizing and process re-engineering

. Using edict rather than dialogue - the latter can help to build trust

. Not enough time (lack of organisational flexibility and control over time and priorities)

. No help (the need for coherent, consistent, knowledgeable coaching and guidance and support)

. Not relevant (the absence of a clear, compelling case for making the change)

. Without predictability, people become too scared - not only to take risks but to take any action at all. They are, in fact, paralysed into inertia

. Not walking the talk causes the gap between espoused values and actions to be noticed, especially in those championing the change

. Lack of adequate predictions - the best way to approach organisational change is with the realisation that dire predictions are probably better than no predictions at all, or positive predictions that no one believes. To enhance trust levels, the leaders of today's organisations must come up with

- honest assessments of the organisation's current situation

- the possible outcomes of any action the organisation might take

- what each outcome will mean

If managers try to fool their staff, they destroy predictability, their credibility, trust and organisational morale.

. In most organisations there is a tension between instigating some new business and preserving their old success. The latter is usually allowed to dominate the former.

. Short-termism dominant culture, eg short-term financial performance indicators dominate the stakeholders' attitude to the organisation. This results in the stakeholders feeling that they do not have the time to handle Ingredient 1 effectively

. Too much reliance and expectation that technology will solve all problems, eg

"...People are the solution to the problems that confront us. Technology is not the solution, although it can help..."

Margaret Wheatley as quoted by David Pitonyak, 2005

"...A new computer system spreads confusion, doubt and stress. The hardware may work, the software may work, but the system won't work if the people, who are supposed to use it, don't cooperate..."

Terry Neill as quoted by Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

"...the focus of change is on the work processes, new technology......and decentralised services rather than on the people who must implement change..."

Joan Goldsmith in Robert Kriegel et al, 1996

Trust deficit

"...manifests itself at the personal, social, institutional and increasingly virtual levels, where social restraint on online platforms has all but disappeared......flawed governance and remuneration policies along with cultural failings......from the society in which it operates, prove incapable of meaningful accountability......when trust is eroded, sloganeering becomes an effective rally call to unite the discontent..."
Justin O'Brien 2018

What is needed
"...to reset the parameters of corporate governance, culture and conduct by providing a coherent, cohesive framework that builds accountability, embeds restraint and restores trust. Doing so requires......rules, principles and social norms within a governance framework with global application......building a resilient infrastructure is essential, this has to comprise values as well as utility. Responding to this crisis through resilience as both metaphor and organising framework is, however, problematic. Privileging resilience as an end in itself may prove counter-productive unless underpinned by a normative reassessment of the purpose of the corporation and the market and duties and responsibilities each pose to society......misguided faith, the preservation of self-interest, will safeguard stability and remains stubbornly resilient......governance through self-interest alone guarantees disloyalty and chaos......moving from price as a proxy for efficiency to effectiveness requires a critical step. While it may not be possible to legislate for ethics, it is possible to legislate for breach of promises entered into by virtue of voluntary commitment to legally binding promises......metrics must be developed to test relative effectiveness of these promises..."
Justin O'Brien 2018


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