Without trust, organizations can’t function at a level required to remain competitive. Those that don’t need to be competitive, like government agencies, are unable to deliver service as effectively because without trust, employees can’t do whatever they need to do to solve the problems that citizens bring to them.
Without trust, there is usually fear. Fear paralyzes organizations. In the face of years of fear, employees become accustomed to doing just what they need to do to stay out of trouble, instead of really trying to fix broken processes or push the limits of the rules so they can satisfy some customer need.
Overcoming this formidable barrier is not impossible. It takes a determined and committed approach, though. When I say committed, I mean you have to be ready to stay with your vision for years as you chip away, little by little at the structures that have been built to preserve the fear. You can’t just go in with some good intention and a little training and expect anything to change.
Every day you have to push back against the status quo. This will make you pretty unpopular too. So the only thing that can possibly sustain you through this unpleasant journey is love. That is the only thing that will allow you to continue to value everyone as people, in spite of very limited reciprocation.
“Trusting another person means that 1) whatever value I claim for myself in interactions with that person will be understood and accepted, and 2) the other person will not take advantage of me or use my revealed information to my disadvantage. In any given relationship, the level of intimacy will reflect the degree to which the parties have learned to trust each other as they each reveal more about themselves.” (Edgar Schein, Helping)