Last February 23, a few of us attended a forum entitled "Leading at the Speed of Trust" by Stephen M.R. Covey in Makati Shangri-la. (Stephen M.R. Covey is the eldest son of Stephen R. Covey, author of the immensely popular Seven Habits book.) It was a sort of synopsis to his book "The Speed of Trust". We were seated in a table right before the big projector screen at the right side of the Rizal Ballroom. While our seats left much to desire, everyone of us had something to take home from the forum, not just a bag, a book, and a deck of cards, but also insights, new ideas, and blooming plans. And breakfast was good.
Trust is normally thought an intangible relation between parties. It's in the spectrum of abstract values like love, care, faith, etc. It is so basic to life that we don't actually delve on it often or deeply.
One key realization that is at the core of Covey's book and forum is that when we really think about it, trust is an economic metric. As an economic metric, trust is given a very visible importance to businesses and leaders.
Lack of trust creates layers upon layers of bureaucracy and paperwork. It often leads to unnecessary checks, replication of work or even throwing work out. With loss of trust, decisions stall, business is hampered, and the world slows down. It's a tax.
When we build a good trust relation, we are able to streamline processes. We can work based on the spirit of good will and laws rather than follow everything to the letter and trust nobody. With trust, we are able to do our work much faster, build on the trusted works of others, and elevate our combined effectiveness.
There are apparently two aspects of trust: trust as an integrity concern, and trust as a competency concern. Gaining the speed of trust needs both.
When we say we trust a friend, we mean that we believe our friend to know and act in accordance to our common interest.
When we say we trust a report, we believe that the report is accurate or good enough for our needs. We trust that the output of the person who made the report was competently made.
Somewhat ironically, checks and balances are integral in creating high trust. Checks and balances work to build a baseline level of assurance, that either removes doubts or guaranties particular assumptions.
The value of trust is present perhaps in all relations a company may hold over its lifetime. Even a comprehensive system of checks and balances require trust in the system, for it to to work.
As a company determined to excel in and out, Amici must find a good balance in its evolving system of checks and balances, that can foster greater trust, and eventually accelerated growth. We look to improve relationships with customers and with vendors, as well as between employees.