Interesting topic for the first keynote today: Trust.
Trust comes up in almost any conversation one has about going business in
The speaker is Stephen Covey, a name that sounded familiar and I finally found out why; he is the son of the Stephen R. Covey (this is how it was announced), who wrote the staggeringly dense (and repetitive) Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. An interesting example of a family businessâ€”name branding, and perhaps an inherited tendency to apply hard numbers to soft topics and to create odd-numbered sets of rules. Low trust doubles the cost of doing business and trebles the time work takes, for example, according to Stephen M. R. Covey. And his book, The Speed of Trust, provides 13 ways to build trust.
He just showed the Nordstrom â€œemployee manual,â€ a card that says there is only one rule, â€œUse good judgment in all situations.â€ Hm. Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s going to help people find the bathroom or know whether the tea stash in the kitchen is provided by the company or a communal stockpile. Let alone some of the other tricky issues that employee manuals are designed to help people with.
Am I right in thinking that in spite of their wordiness, the real secret of success for the Coveys is that they simplify issues and situations?â€”complex issues and situations that are not actually amenable, in real life, to the easy solutions. But how comforting it is to be told that choices will be clear, and results will be predictable if you follow a set of rules. (Hm, sounds a bit like fundamentalist religion, doesnâ€™t it?) There are also some remarkable assumptions involved in making rules on a social dynamic such as â€œtrust.â€ First and foremostâ€”and this is on my mind after being in