Hi Mark, look forward to hearing more thoughts on this. Sometimes I find it useful to ‘flip’ the question, e.g. what inhibits trust in an organisational context? In my experience, inconsistency (in both policy and practice) is a particular culprit. I’d argue that primary root cause is lack of clarity (either conscious or unconscious) around organisational purpose. Al has mentioned to me a phrase that goes something like “the delta between espoused and demonstrated values” and this got me thinking about something I read some time back about the ‘grapevine’ being the most powerful communication channel within the organisation, and its particular sensitivity to perceived leadership ‘BS’. So, I think the really hard task is nailing an accurate and honest expression of the organisational purpose, and then staying true to it!
Before I sign off, some thoughts about metrics and a partial defence of them! My early scientific training in accurate measurement was vital to safeguarding people taking part in experiments in (very) hazardous environments, so I’m conscious of my own potential biases here. Notwithstanding this, I don’t think that measurement as a concept is all bad; it’s a question of its application. As long as measures are defined, and implemented, in a manner that is explicitly linked to organisational purpose, and those measures are interpreted intelligently to inform organisational learning, then are they necessarily a bad thing? Simon Guilfoyle makes the case far better than I can in a series of thought provoking posts on ‘Right Measures, Measured Right’ (https://inspguilfoyle.wordpress.com/).