Home Google+ Linkedin YouTube Twitter Facebook
Archive by Author

Creative tension and other lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last night I attended a panel discussion at the Washington National Cathedral on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” The panel included U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; Yale Law professor Stephen L. Carter; American civil rights leader Julian Bond; Washington National Cathedral Dean Gary Hall; and moderator Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. During […]

Continue Reading

Trusted partnerships rely on a two-way street

For decades, non-governmental organizations have ranked corporations in terms of their environmental responsibility. Now, corporations are turning the tables and ranking NGOs for their integrity, effectiveness, and overall level of influence. The GreenBiz Group, based in Oakland California just released a fascinating report that assess NGO performance based on feedback from over 200 companies. Whereas […]

Continue Reading

Massive Crises Put Culture on Display

Over the past several years, I’ve studied the role of trust in massive social and environmental crises and two remarkable events stand out from the pack: the BP Oil Spill (Deepwater Horizon) and the Chilean Mine Rescue. By comparing these events, it’s easy to see how corporate culture influences crisis management. Moreover because the crises […]

Continue Reading

Trust Communication

The essence of trust communication can be demonstrated through this well-known and often undervalued assessment process. In any enterprise, three basic principles guide all planning and strategy discussions: To know where you have been, where you are going, and how you will get there.  Despite their modest tone and unsophisticated style, these questions drive an […]

Continue Reading

Trust leadership and communication compendium

This page is your reference guide for learning about trust leadership and trust communication in today’s uncertain economic environment. Following are web-based reference materials that inform some of the strategies and theories described on this website. Ultimately, leaders will want to understand the root of these issues. Here, I make that possible. Currently, this resource […]

Continue Reading

Audience Centric Communication

Why does your business need audience centric communication? In short, because no one believes the things companies say, any longer. Words have lost their power to persuade in these days of cynicism and distrust. Regardless of the size of your marketing department and the amount of your advertising budget, it is not possible to influence […]

Continue Reading

Audience Centricity

To understand audience centricity, it’s helpful to review recent evolutions in organizational design. Business leadership has evolved significantly, and almost dramatically, in the past half century, fueled by changes in the broader economy.  Responding to changes in societal values and customer needs, businesses have changed their internal organizational models. Though, not always for the better. […]

Continue Reading

The art of the apology: Will JCPenney’s strategy work?

Apologies are a delicate matter, and the success of an apology can depend more on the type of error than the nature of the confession. People tend to be forgiving of errors caused by lack of experience or inability to perform in a challenging environment. U.C. Davis professors Kimberly Elsbach and Steven Currall say these […]

Continue Reading

Culture gone awry: How global finance lost its footing

When an event as catastrophic as the financial crisis occurs, it is our responsibility to understand what went wrong. Apart from the process of ascribing blame is the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake: to understand, to learn, and to grow as a society. The day after Lehman Brothers shuttered its doors, on September […]

Continue Reading

What happened to the hubris of market rallies?

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) set a new record high, closing the day at 14,253.77. Only four years ago this March, the market hit bottom during the financial crisis, closing at 6,547.05. It was the market’s lowest level in twelve years, and those forfeited market gains became known as the lost decade […]

Continue Reading

The power of micro-messages and micro-inequities

As a communication professional who worked in financial services during the crisis, I reflect more on the things we did not say to customers in those dark days than what we did say. While the market fell in 2008, remarkably few voices in the financial industry offered caring and compassionate advice to traumatized investors. In […]

Continue Reading

Return on community & the clothesline paradox

Return on community (ROC) is the brainchild of Tony Hsieh [pronounced “Shay”], the CEO of Zappos, and author of Delivering Happiness. When Mr. Hsieh and his team decided to establish a corporate campus to house the company’s three buildings and provide room to grow, he selected an urban setting instead of an isolated corporate campus. […]

Continue Reading