I have always believed that trust is essential to create lasting change. No matter whether you are changing a business process, convincing a customer that your solution is the most useful, or introducing new technology to a large user base, trust is essential. The same applies to those who work in social justice, government and politics. It’s essential to the kind of work I do in marketing and innovation.
In fact, I’ve had a long term love affair with trust. I’ve written about it, developed frameworks for the way that trust works in social networks, and used it as a basis for many keynotes over the years. But trust is under pressure.
When the President of the United States can reel off policy announcements in 140 characters, it’s easy to see that we’ve switched from a 24-hour news cycle to a 24-second news cycle. Policy and government announcements which once took weeks of meticulous planning and execution are now thrown like content fodder into the scrap heap of the worlds’ news feeds, stoking passions but leaving us wondering whether there is substance, thought or strategy behind any of it.
And while it’s easy to be swayed by the immediacy of tweeted action, I also get a sense of a deeper hunger. Sure there are plenty of people willing to go with the flow and take every tweet at face value, but there’s a growing impatience with the superficiality of what has been passing as news, insight and policy. I’m pleased to see more focus on problems worth solving than ideas worth spreading. We are seeing this in the work that we do with companies and government organisations. We are seeing it in the work we do in social impact. And we are seeing it in movements like Pledge 1 Percent.
Underlying this resurgence, is a need to rebuild – and perhaps – reconstitute trust in the modern age. And I think we do this with kindness.
That’s why I like this deck from Leo Burnett. It’s a step in a new direction. And with any movement, that first step is what is needed.