Barbara Brooks Kimmel: Recognize a low trust organization, and reap the rewards of a high trust culture
Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 9:38AM
Barbara Brooks Kimmel in Barclays Bank, Trust

In the prior post for the FCPA Blog, three of our Trust Alliance members talked about what Barclays Bank needs to do to re-establish trust and ethics in the organization.

Not just Barclays but many organizations find themselves in trust traps because they hold on to the notion that trust and ethics are “soft skills.” So over time, trust and ethics in their organizations are overlooked or taken for granted, and eventually decline.

In fact, that's the pattern of decline we can see across all major institutions, public and private, in every industry and segment.

To avoid falling into that pattern, leaders need to recognize the warning signs of a decline in low trust and ethics. Only by seeing the problem can they bring a solution.

Some of the warning signs of low trust and ethics include:

Fortunately the most forward-looking organizations have begun to see the trust trap and the long-term destruction it can do. Those same leaders also recognize the strategic advantages of a high trust culture.

Once a leader understands those advantages, he or she naturally and quickly moves to establish or re-establish a trust and ethics culture in the organization. Without doing that, there is no promise of a better future for the company and its stakeholders.

Some of the business and operational advantages of a high trust and ethics culture include:

The trust and ethics crisis at Barclays Bank that we talked about in the prior post won't end until the organization's leaders - beginning with the board of directors –– not only accept blame and take responsibility, but also put actionable steps in place to clean up the culture.

Will Jes Staley be the CEO who turns Barclays Bank around? Will he walk the trust he is now talking? What do you think?


Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its sixth year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 U.S. public companies on five quantitative indicators of trust. She's also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the executive editor of TRUST! Magazine. She can be contacted at

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