‘Trust by Design’ will enable us to help clients become digitally confident and trusted enterprises that have the intelligence and insights to drive growth, increase business value and maintain stakeholder trust.
Recently I’ve talked a lot with other members of the EY risk global leadership team about trust. In particular, we’ve discussed how organizations might operate differently if their decisions were always guided by a relentless focus on trust.
The issue of trust is really important to me, both personally and as a risk professional. It is also a crucial issue for every organization on the planet, no matter how big or small it is. That’s because an organization that loses the trust of its key stakeholders – among them customers, employees, regulators and suppliers – is at risk of running itself out of business.
Trust lies right at the heart of every single relationship that exists. As businesses, consumers, and individuals, we buy from people and organizations that we trust. We cooperate with people and organizations that we trust. We believe in people and organizations that we trust. Trust is an extremely valuable commodity that takes years to build, but can be lost in a matter of seconds, especially in this digital age.
Unfortunately, you only have to read the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer to understand that trust is in decline globally. A total of 20 out of the 28 markets covered in the survey fall into the category of distrust (meaning that average trust in businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and the media in those markets is below 50%). Meanwhile, 7 in 10 respondents said that building trust is the number one job for CEOs, ahead of developing high-quality products and services.
So where does trust fit into the risk landscape?
For me it comes down to taking a step back and thinking about the changes that are happening both inside and outside of organizations, which, in turn, affect how trust intersects with risk. Today, organizations are managing evolving consumer behavior; forming new partnerships; converging with organizations in other sectors; and adapting to new business ecosystems. CEOs and C-level executives are also being challenged by younger generations to disrupt their businesses. At the same time, the external landscape is changing dramatically in areas ranging from climate and technology, through to geopolitics and trade.
Every industry is changing and the cycles of change are accelerating more quickly than ever. Indeed, we’ve never moved as fast as we’re moving right now, and the pace will probably only get quicker. The nature and scale of this change also mean that trust has never been more important. In today’s world defined by disruption and uncertainty, trust is the new currency and the new source of value. Organizations recognize that trust is critical to sustaining consumer loyalty and differentiating their brand in a competitive marketplace.