Economic dynamism comes from the confidence of the main stakeholders. Trust is a necessary condition for economic growth and performance at the corporate and national level. The world today has rapidly evolved into a tightly connected environment, trust constantly has to be won anew and building trust is more challenging in this new model than ever before.
But how can leaders create a high-trust environment in their organizations? Which leadership attributes matter and how can they be developed on a broader basis?
The Forum conducted a Global Agenda Survey in 2012, which was sent to over 2,800 constituents. The top issue which business respondents most wished to engage with the Forum on was lack of public trust in business. In terms of qualitative feedback, the global trends part of the survey identified a crisis of leadership and values.
It was following the review of the survey findings at the Annual Governors Meeting that the Leadership, Trust and Performance Equation Project was born.
The broad aim of this project is to provide a robust analysis of how the lack of trust impacts private sector organizations, while being mindful to the applications and impact on the public sector; to identify the common patterns and differences between stakeholders and cultures; and to complement these findings with a study on good practices in (re)building trust.
The project will produce a body of work that will include:
- A research element that aims to understand the impact trust has on the economic and non-economic success of an organization and creates the social and economic case for fostering trust.
- A framework of best practice to help global leaders to:
– Understand trust and the impact it has on the value and performance of their business
– Provide guidance on the drivers of trust and what can be done to move those drivers across multiple stakeholder groups (e.g. customers, regulators, media, general public, investors)
The interaction and community around the project will be created in a number of ways including:
- Creation of an externally facing online community to help share the findings from the project and create a space for discussions and debates on the topic
- Use of the Forum meetings to explore and sense-check project developments
- Engagement of Forum stakeholders via GACs and other Forum groups
- Dissemination of project activities through webcasts on the Forum website
- Social media campaign to support the dissemination of findings and notification of upcoming activities
- External speaking and debate opportunities with academic institutions and other organizations
Dialogue with private enterprise, public sector organizations and academia has been initiated by inclusion of leading professionals from these organizations within the project steering board.
Key stakeholders include:
- Steering board: 8-12 core members
- Forum private and public sector/industry, including representatives from the financial services industry
- Forum Global Agenda Council (GAC) communities, including the GAC on the Role of Business, GAC on New Models of Leadership, GAC on the Role of Civil Society and the GAC on Values
- Private and public sector organizations, business employees, suppliers and customers
- Academia, government, shareholders/investors and regulators
- The wider public
This project will provide a platform for organizations to start and support the ongoing conversation on trust. The outputs should enable leaders to understand why trust is critical to create and maintain growth and performance, and then provide them with a framework they can use to embed trust best practice into their organizations.
To be successful, the project must have a significant influence on the debate on trust and provide a potential road map to organizations and institutions looking to rebuild trust and to justify why they should do so.
The objectives for 2013-2014 are to:
- Undertake research which helps to frame the leadership trust discussion and codifies the key types of challenges organizations face when (re)building trust with multiple stakeholder groups
- Collaborate with private sector, public sector, academia, NGOs and the general public on a broader scale to identify the best ways of addressing these challenges
- Promote the research through targeted communication and marketing to each stakeholder group
- Establish a Leadership and Trust community to share and disseminate knowledge and good practice
- World Economic Forum on East Asia - Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 5-7 June 2013
- Annual Meeting of the New Champions - Dalian, China, 11-13 September 2013
- World Economic Forum Annual Meeting - Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 22-26 January 2014
For more information, contact Amali de Alwis, Project Manager, at Amali.firstname.lastname@example.org.