Building Trust by Trusting

The title of this blog has actually been borrowed from an outstanding article in a recent BusinessWeek, authored by Dov Seidman, the founder and CEO of LRN, a company that helps business develop ethical corporate cultures. He is also the author of “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (and in Life).

Seidman contends, and we agree, that trust is essential to building enduring connections—with employees, customers and others. How do we gain it? By being honest and ethical in everything we do. What managers don’t get, Seidman writes, is that the ideal way to build trust to to extend it to others. 

He points to particular examples such as: Netflix trusting its employees to take whatever vacation time they feel they need; Radiohead trusting its fans to decide how much to pay for their latest online release; and the University of Michigan Health System encouraging its doctors to apologize when they make mistakes, trusting patients to forgive them rather than file liability lawsuits.

We  take a similar approach at Tanner Friedman, where we don’t watch clocks or calendars or “productivity reports,” opting instead to both trust our employees/colleagues as well as involve them in virtually all aspects of our business and the decisions that affect it/us.

In turn, we strive for (as we say in our tenets of operation): a culture of empowerment and collective commitment; a recipe, we believe, for long-term success—in business and in life.