Trust in Business: Beyond a Commodity

Trust is not a commodity that can be bought or sold. It is something way beyond that: it is fundamental to businesses and they are built upon it. Employees must trust organisations and organisations must trust their employees. Likewise, the same goes for customers and organisations must show them why.

Let’s just take a step back. Trust is a value that humans need to survive. Ignore it within a business context at your own peril. Imagine that you went to the supermarket to buy some milk and the fridge was locked. You had to wait for a member of staff to unlock the fridge, take out your milk – ‘that’ll be green please,’ you’d say – and then wander slowly over to the counter to finish the transaction. But the awkwardness doesn’t stop there. The cashier-come-security-guard then proceeds to cling to the milk until your money is in their hand. Unfortunately, you have trust issues too. You cannot possibly relinquish your cash without having the milk in your hands. After all, what if the cashier tries to shaft you? This is the complete opposite or innovations from global corporations like the new AmazonGo initiative which launched in Seattle on 22 January 2018.

Hopefully, the point is clear. What a world this would be without trust? Trust makes the world go round! Without it, we wouldn’t even be able to step foot on the tube every morning.

In business, contracts are all but worthless without people placing value on them. Not even a 2,000-page and watertight contract will stop someone who has no ethical backbone. There is always a loophole to exploit.

We humans do not feel tied down by ink and paper. Rather, we feel tied down by social conduct and the bonds of conformity. Technology is the guardian of our personal data and it must play by the rules that humans have defined. As ever, it is evolving rapidly and so companies must be proactive in building trust with their customers by protecting their personal data.

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