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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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Create more value than you capture

This phrase became a company motto at O’Reilly Media in 2008, largely in response to the tremendous amount of value that left our economy during the financial crisis. Five years later, Tim O’Reilly advocates for this principle every chance he gets while applying it to emergent trends, such as the Sharing Economy. Since 2011, I’ve […]

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Why every leader needs a personal credo

A credo is a statement of personal belief.   In a world of competing perspectives, we each represent something distinct that is born from our values and communicated through our actions. If we’re not careful, the push and pull of others’ opinions and divergent motives can impede our ability to listen to the voice inside. Over […]

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How to create an authentic online community

This Q & A with Jay Daughtry illuminates the powerful role of trust in online communities. As a society, we often spend more time nurturing relationships online than with the person living next door. Consequently, online communities have become central hubs for sharing ideas, aspirations, and values. I met Jay on Twitter, and through a […]

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Overcoming cynicism: A management challenge

According to Gallup’s polls, Americans have never been less trusting of institutions. Although the culprits are too vast to name, today’s bleak environment for trust has a direct impact on leaders. Events outside the workplace shape employees’ mindsets and influence their propensity to trust co-workers and managers. Because the social and political events that form […]

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Three great moments in communication from 2012

Ever since oil spewed out of a well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and insensitivity poured out of a CEO, business leaders have learned what not to say in a crisis. Two years earlier, when the stock market hit rock bottom during the financial crisis, communications were equally ineffective. The great investment […]

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