DISCUSSION Building trust in business

by Yolanda Villafuerte _______21st January 2016

The global economy is going through a period of exceptionally high disruption and innovation, with new industries, technologies and business models emerging rapidly as old sector boundaries converge. This intense change makes trust in business all the more important: firms in sectors where trust is low will be less likely to successfully carry stakeholders with them through these changes or indeed to embark on change at all. In a world where financial measures of performance provide only some of the information stakeholders need, it is important that companies can find new ways to prove that they deserve the trust not just of investors, but suppliers, staff, customers, communities and regulators.

Today, 21st January 2016, Mark Goyder is joining a group of business leaders at a breakfast roundtable at the Institute of Directors to discuss the importance of trust in the economy and how it varies across difference sectors.

In the Futures Project report, which will be published end of March 2016, Tomorrow’s Company highlights low trust in business as one of the results of the currently prevailing focus on short-term financial outcomes. Low public trust can have adverse impacts on business. It can lead to the public pressuring the government to act even when it does not make economic sense, leading to ill-thought out knee-jerk regulation, or might impact on consumer demand.

In order to build trust the best business leaders take visible actions in line with their stated values, especially in the really difficult and controversial areas such as remuneration and company taxation. A business approach grounded on purpose, values, stakeholder relationships and a commitment to the long-term is therefore essential to rebuild public trust in business. And this sometimes means taking the more expensive course in line with your values.

You can find out more about the Futures Project here or get in touch directly with Yolanda Villafuerte to get more information: yolanda@tomorrowscompany.com

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