Trust is crucial within boards, between leaders and 'followers' and between the company and its stakeholders. Loss of trust can be disastrous. It can cause severe reputational damage.
But too much of the wrong kind of trust - for example unquestioning trust - can be dangerous. Amongst other issues, it can cause complacency, ineffective NEDs, dazzled subordinates, groupthink and risk blindness. All are serious behavioural and organisational risks that have regularly led to disaster.
Leaders should aspire to trust of a mutual kind that will, for example, listen to and digest other perspectives and welcome perceptive questioning, constructive criticism and robust challenge - not to mention unwelcome news.
Anthony Fitzsimmons is Chairman of Reputability LLP and,
with the late Derek Atkins, author of “Rethinking Reputational Risk: How to Manage the Risks that can Ruin Your Business, Your Reputation and You”
- This blog carries a series of posts and articles, mostly written by Anthony Fitzsimmons under the aegis of Reputability LLP, a business that is no longer trading as such. Anthony is a thought leader in reputational risk and its root causes, behavioural, organisational and leadership risk. His book 'Rethinking Reputational Risk' was widely acclaimed. Led by Anthony, Reputability helped business leaders to find, understand and deal with these widespread but hidden risks that regularly cause reputational disasters. You can contact Anthony via anthony.fitzsimmons At cranfield dot ac dot uk