G&A Institute’s Q&A With Barbara Kimmel – Trust Across America / Trust Around the World
We shared news in our May issue about TrustAcross America –now named Trust Around the World. Readers were interested in learning more about the organization and its activities. Here is our interview with co-founder Barbara Kimmel.
Q Tell us about Trust Across America – now to be known as Trust Around the World — what is the organization’s mission– what are your activities?
A Our mission is simply to help enhance trustworthy behavior in organizations. You can read more here about our mission, core values and principles and the evolution of our program online.
Q You recently published your annual list of the “Most Trustworthy Public Companies” – what criteria are used – what is your methodology – to come up with these rankings?
A Trust Across America / Trust Around the World — has developed a proprietary methodology called the FACTS® Framework. FACTS is an acronym that incorporates five indicators of trustworthy business:
Our Framework allows us to analyze the trustworthiness of approximately 2,000 public companies, using independent and external quantitative data, and equally weighting our five indicators. We have also uilt software called FidesTM that calculates an aggregate “trust score” for each company. No company can be named to our Most Trustworthy list if any of the five indicators are below average. Companies do not participate in the analysis.
Q What could or should boards and C-suites be doing to build more trust with investors – and with stakeholders?
A Boards and C-Suites first have to acknowledge that trust is a driver of good business. While most Boards and C-Suites are still “stuck” on short-termism and quarterly earnings, we are starting to see a slow shift away from this outdated business model.
Trust Around the World continues to make the business case for trust by correlating trust to stock market performance. I can point readers to our recent blog post — Trustworthy Business and Stock Market Performance — for more information.
Q Tell us about your “Top 100 Thoughts Leaders” – what is your approach to devising this list?
A The Trust Across America program was formed in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash. Our interest was in redirecting the spotlight from the “crisis of the day” to individuals and organizations that were working to foster trustworthy organizations.
One of our first initiatives was to create our Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business. We have now been publishing this global list for three years. Honorees are selected either through nominations or research, and a judging panel works to make the final selections.
Q What are the “FACTS® Framework Reports published by TAA? How can a company access the information [about the company] to find out what the TAA FACTS file is saying?
A The FACTS Reports are a business tool providing individual companies with a unique trust profile to aid in capitalizing on strengths, identifying risks and drawing peer comparisons. We offer companies several levels of reports depending on their interest and need; everything from snapshots to custom benchmarking.
Q Who is using Trust Across America’s resources?
A Everyday our website draws more and more visitors from around the globe. As we speak, we had over 900 unique visitors viewing almost 1,500 pages of information. We see visitors coming from corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, media, etc. We even had the White House stop by one day!
Q You have recently formed the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts. What is that – and why was it organized?
A Many consider trust to be the “issue of the decade” and it is a global topic spanning across public and private organizations, cultures, and generations. The Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts was formed at the end of 2012 to launch a Campaign for Trust and develop tools and initiatives to help build more trustworthy organizations. In a few short months we have grown to several hundred members from close to 20 countries. Our members are CEO’s and others from the C- Suite, government officials, academics, consultants and a smattering of media folks. There is a place for everyone who wants to roll up his/her sleeves and get involved.
Finally, Trust Across America has brought together over 30 leading experts who have contributed essays for our upcoming book to be published later this year — the title is Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset
Thank you for this interview opportunity, Hank. You have watched Trust Across America evolve and grow. We appreciate your continuing support, expert advice and input.
Disclosure: We have been communicating closely with Barbara and Jordan Kimmel since the early days of their TAA planning.
TAA -TAW’s Barbara Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and former consultant to McKinsey who has run her own firm (Next Decade, Inc.) for 20 years. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA (marketing) from Baruch College. In 2012 she was named one of the 25 Women Who Are Changing the World by Good Business International. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org