Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of procurement and supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.
We change the blog monthly, and I would welcome your comments personally on firstname.lastname@example.org
David Noble FCIPS
Can trust be measured?
The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer report should really give business, governments and indeed all of us, a reality shot in the arm. It is a survey from around the world measuring the public’s level of trust in those organisations that are fundamental to the function of our societies – namely governments and business.
In business circles, trust isn’t discussed that often. In capitalist societies around the world, making money and profit appears to be the only goal but recent events from financial crises to political and environmental incidents have changed the perception and role of what business should be and towards more ethical and caring goals.
A dictionary definition of ‘trust’ will suggest reliance, strength of character, honesty and effectiveness. Dependability and confidence are also staples of this most valued of traits. Yet it is also something intrinsically ethereal and intangible. Because once lost, it can never be regained at the same level.
The report highlights that experts in their field are the most trusted and CEOs the least. This implies that CEOs should hide in the shadows of their organisation in case any negativity is attached to their organisation. But, I don’t see it that way.
Remaining visible, active, striving and driving change and influence will turn perceptions around and the report itself later confirms this as a recommend approach. We need to answer difficult and challenging questions with honesty and openness to create strong foundations of trust between all communities touched by the work we do.
79% of respondents to the report think there should be regulation around food and energy because there’s so little faith in business to self-regulate. That’s quite damning. The American business magazine, Forbes, said that the most valuable commodity in business is trust. There’s a sad future awaiting us all if this negative perception isn’t turned around, and soon.
Catch up with my column in Supply Management magazine