In the US, and around the globe, systems are becoming more interdependent, and leaders are teaming up to accomplish shared goals.
In the US, and around the globe, systems are becoming more interdependent, and leaders are teaming up to accomplish shared goals. This is happening at a time when global citizens trust systems, but distrust the leaders that operate them. Trust in business, government, media, and NGO’s are up slightly from 2012, but 2013 has been deemed the year of the Crisis of Leadership, by the Edelman Trust Barometer.[i]
Most Americans feel that the government is having more impact on their businesses and threatening their rights. In the midst of this tension, public-private partnerships and cross-sector collaboration are increasing, as leaders team-up to tackle top challenges like healthcare, social security, and banking.
Low Trust in System Leadership
Across the globe, Edelman research shows a gap between people’s trust in institutions vs. leadership. In America, 50% of individuals have trust in business, but only 15% trust business leaders to tell the truth.[ii] Only 17.5% of people around the globe said they trust their business and government leaders to solve social issues, correct issues within industries that are experiencing problems, make ethical and moral decisions, and tell the truth regardless of complexity or unpopularity.[iii] In separate research from the Interaction Associates, 31% of individuals said their organization has effective leadership, down from 50% in 2009.[iv] Why is trust dropping? 50% of people in Edelman’s research said the reasons are corruption, fraud, and wrong incentives driving business decisions. In government, it’s a similar story. Pew Research from January reveals that both democrats, 57%, and republicans, 58%, believe the political system can work fine, and that the members are the problem.[v] 38% of people have trust in government, and a measly 10% trust government leaders to tell the truth.[vi] Interaction Associates research confirms these findings with only 26% of Americans trusting the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time, and 73% say they can trust the government only some of the time or never. Edelman’s research reveals that 50% of individuals are less trusting in government leaders because of corruption, fraud, and wrong incentives driving policies. 31% say it’s related to incompetence issues.
Public-Private Partnerships Increase
85% of people surveyed in a Deloitte study said the government’s role has “greatly increased impact” on their business. This is happening during a time when Americans distrust the government 10 percentage points more than business, and public-private partnerships (PPP’s) are increasing.[vii][viii] PPP’s are shifting from the last 200 years of primarily focusing on infrastructure projects to other projects that are too risky, daunting and expensive to handle alone. Deloitte’s report rationalizes, “The increasingly complex nature of our national challenges, along with recent shifts in economic and social forces, are creating incentives for government and business to collaborate more frequently and in new ways that go well beyond traditional infrastructure investments, expanding the definition of partnership in the future.”[ix]
Public-private partnerships are forming to tackle pervasive problems in healthcare, social security, Medicare, and welfare programs. Perhaps the greatest opportunity in these partnerships will be the potential for balancing notorious problems: leech-ridden welfare system, sometimes enabling Medicare system, unmotivated TSA, bureaucratic healthcare system, and overly systemized and suffering education. Meanwhile, government could mitigate corporate greed with limits on executive pay, heightened corporate governance, better consumer protection, more regulation and transparency of over the counter derivatives, and restrictions on property investments.
A 2013 study by PEW Research Center found that 53% of American’s view the government as a threat to their personal rights and freedoms.[x] Slicing the data further, 76% of conservative Republicans say it’s a threat, and 54% call it a major threat, up from 62% and 47% in 2010. 38% of democrats say it poses a threat, and 16% say it poses a major threat. Lastly, 62% of gun-owning households compared to 45% in non-gunned households say the government is a threat. All of this data was gathered in January, prior to the Edward Snowden leaks about NSA spying programs that gather public data from companies like Verizon and Google.
Why this matters
“In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin[xi]
- HPO’s employees, according to Building Trust in Business, are more trusting than non-HPO’s employees that individuals in their organizations will work diligently to accomplish shared goals. Trust is pivotal to performance.
- American PPP’s can improve and become less political and bureaucratic.
- American’s are feeling increasingly threatened by government influence in their businesses and lives.
- Complaining about business, government, or media roles in getting outcomes is generally a waste of time. Many still do it.
- Down 9% points from 2009, only 32% see their organization as collaborative.[xii]
- Only 17.5% of people around the globe said they trust their business and government leaders to solve social issues, correct issues within industries that are experiencing problems, make ethical and moral decisions, and tell the truth regardless of complexity or unpopularity.[xiii]
How to seize the embedded opportunities
- Emphasize developing the clarity, connection, and competency pillars of The Trust Edge.
- Increase collaboration internally in your organization.
- Find ways for your leaders to collaborate with others.
- Recognize future institutional partnerships and develop competence to be able to hit the ground running.
- Provide feedback or solutions to decision-makers to give ideas for tackling major challenges.
- Encourage congressional leaders to work diligently toward shared goals. Consider funding an organization like No Labels, who is working to pass bills through congress that incentivize leaders to collaborate.
- Select tools and technology that could be helpful to collaboration.
- 77% of global society trusts in the technology industry. Leverage this.
- How can you or your team/organization collaborate better? What tools could help?
- Follow these HPO collaboration strengths: shared responsibility for success, holding each other accountable, people have the interpersonal and group skills needed for collaboration, openness to ideas and suggestions, understanding for how perspectives link together, access to tools and technology, and share information and resources. [xiv]
- Avoid these key HPO barriers to collaboration: inefficient communication, botched timelines, unclear objectives, changed objectives, and poor leadership.
- Key opportunity for competitive advantage: leader collaboration.
[iv] Building Trust in Business 2012. Interaction Associates & Human Capital Institute. Retrieved on 20 April 2012 from http://interactionassociates.com/sites/default/files/2012%20IA%20Building%20Trust_Report.pdf
[v] Majority Says Federal Government Threatens Their Personal Rights. January 2013. http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/31/majority-says-the-federal-government-threatens-their-personal-rights/
[vii] Business Trends 2013. Deloitte. http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/consulting/Strategy-Operations/business-trends/index.htm
[ix] Business Trends 2013. Deloitte. http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/consulting/Strategy-Operations/business-trends/index.htm
[x] Majority Says Federal Government Threatens Their Personal Rights. January 2013. http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/31/majority-says-the-federal-government-threatens-their-personal-rights/
[xi] Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. http://naspatumbles.tumblr.com/post/16071479919/in-the-long-history-of-humankind-those-who
[xii] Building Trust in Business 2012. Interaction Associates & Human Capital Institute. Retrieved on 20 April 2012 from http://interactionassociates.com/sites/default/files/2012%20IA%20Building%20Trust_Report.pdf
[xiv] Building Trust in Business 2012. Interaction Associates & Human Capital Institute. Retrieved on 20 April 2012 from http://interactionassociates.com/sites/default/files/2012%20IA%20Building%20Trust_Report.pdf