Trust Grease

Trust and distrust are separate but linked state variables. Trust is fragile and distrust is robust. Key considerations for trust in the organization include risk and experience. From a systems perspective, we must design into the organization and our dyadic relationships the structure needed to increase trusting and trustworthy behaviors and to reduce opportunistic behaviors. Harold Kurstedt
Trust lubricates the organizational system.  We know this from systems dynamics.  To be systems thinkers, we must easily and comfortably integrate human subsystems into complex systems. We can diagram dyadic and triadic human relationships to better analyze, design, and implement complex systems containing human subsystems. Trust and distrust are separate but linked state variables. Trust is fragile and distrust is robust because they fit differently into the system structure of the dyadic relationship. Key considerations for trust in the organization include risk and experience. From a systems perspective, we must design into the organization and our dyadic relationships the structure needed to increase trusting and trustworthy behaviors and to reduce opportunistic behaviors. These behaviors are bound together in feedback loops that define the structure of our relationships. We determine that structure using system dynamics tools. These tools provide the needed understanding of trust to identify steps for changing the relationship or organizational system structure that leads to changed behavior.

The above is the Abstract for an acadmic paper on building trust. We believe you don’t drive fear out, but that you can only drive trust in. If you would like to hear more on this topic, let us know.  We have composed a specialized “Managers as Leaders” course on trust and can send you more info on this challenging course.  Building trust in your company takes money, time, dedication and you have to “go the distance,”…but if you have those things, then the journey is well worth it.  Please call us to discuss where you are in this commitment to building trust in your organization.
(Originally published in the Proceedings of The International Council on Systems Engineering Thirteenth Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C., July 2003, pp. 1-15.)