Trustworthy? Is Your Company Trustworthy? Are You?
We have recently released a Thermoforming Design Guide for engineers and designers. It lists a lots of technical data about Thermoforming, Vacuum Forming, and Pressure Forming. This is vital information that can make or break the successful manufacture of thermoformed plastic parts.
While reading through it yesterday, it occurred to me that there is a vital assumption upon which the design guide is dependent. That characteristic is Trust.
Trust? What does trust have to do with designing and manufacturing custom made thermoformed plastic parts? As I reflected on this I realized that Trust has everything to do with the Design Guide.
You, the reader, must trust that we have given you accurate information in the guide. You must rely on that data when spending hours creating files that incorporate the specifications we outline. If they are not correct, you have wasted innumerable hours and a lot of money.
You must Trust that we will adhere to the specifications you have listed so that the finished product that we manufacture reflects your design. If we fail, we have lost your Trust.
If you present your customer plastic parts that either you have not designed correctly or that have not been manufactured to your correct specifications, you will lose the Trust of your customer.
Trust is the vital quality upon which long term business relationship are built. Once it is lost, it can be regained only if the parties involved are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to restore a healthy level of trust to the relationship.
Building trust is not a fluke. Any company or any individual intent on building trust among their varied constituencies can build it by understanding and implementing a few fundamental concepts that have been outlined in the new book from Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Trust Inc. — Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset. Here a few of the concepts she outlines and which I have taken the liberty of personalizing for each of us, and our companies:
1. To earn trust, we must trust. The best way to engender trust in others is to offer your own.
2. We must trust ourselves. An internal company culture of trust is essential not only to build trust from stakeholders, but simply to function well as an organization. We must trust our colleagues (internal and external) sufficiently to share information. We must trust that our communications will be received and used as they are intended. The absence of such trust, alone, can qualify us and our company as dysfunctional.
3. We cannot edit trust. Any organization is trusted as much as its least trusted department. For example, the company with less-than-effective customer service is not generally regarded as likely to offer the best products.
4. We cannot disguise untrustworthy behavior in a collaborative world. The interconnectedness of the world means failures of trust have more profound and far reaching effects than ever before. Virtually every complex device—from a handheld phone to an airliner—is assembled from parts converging from an extended supply chain that can contain dozens of distinct links that must be trusted.
5. Holding on to trust is worth breaking the paradigm: once trust slips there is no lasso to bring it back. Most breakdowns of trust result from a loss of hope when experience exposes the true character of an employee, employer, or government.
If Trust is important to you and to your organization, we are glad to direct you to the book Barbara Brooks Kimmel edited, Trust Inc. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset , Copyright 2014 by Next Decade Inc.