Why trust matters

Organizations have a trust deficit.

That’s because trust is a high variance strategy. Sometimes it leads to tremendous results, other times it leads to failure.

But I think in our modern era we vastly overestimate the cost of failure, and underestimate the benefits of speed and creativity.

Ruben van der Laan recently interviewed me for an article (to appear on his site in the future). He told me that Jazz players understand this concept better than anyone:

When the group starts they don’t know where they’ll be heading and how the process will develop. There’s no preconceived plan, just starting elements. This requires the performers trust one and other, that others will not criticize your input because this breaks the process. So you have to give the benefit of doubt and never question the intentions of others.

This high-trust process can lead to music that at times can be messy. But then there’s those magical moments. Moments, when everything comes together, and the result is pure bliss. I think Jazz lovers are in it for those moments.

When I completed the interview with Ruben he offered to send it to me for review before he published.

“No need, Ruben. I trust you.”

  • travistasset

    Great points Al, thanks for this post.

    Trust is a two way street.

    When in doubt, give the benefit of the doubt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718272030 Ruben van der Laan

    Thanks for the post Al!

    I find it always interesting to see what happens when trust disappears. Suddenly agreements need to be put on paper, contracts are made (and reviewed endlessly), lawyers enter the arena. All energy is diverted from the issue. A policy maker once told me that in essence laws are frozen distrust. I don’t say contracts or agreements on paper are necessarily a bad thing, but if you look at it from the point of view of trust then you start thinking: ‘hey, maybe I don’t need to put that down. Let’s just trust the other.’ It makes for shorter contracts, less paperwork, etc…

    Great you’ve linked it with meetings and the Modern Meeting Standard!

  • http://ryanstephensmarketing.com/blog/ ryanstephens

    I think in organizations this starts with hiring the right people. If you hire talented people and trust them to get things done then you don’t have to have endless ‘status’ meetings about what everyone is working on. You don’t have to let every member of leadership touch the project. More things get accomplished this way. Good stuff Al!

    • Al Pittampalli

      Agreed. Thanks, Ryan.