Roland’s response to an ODN comment about TRUST.

Group: Organization Development Network, OD Network, ODN
Subject: New comment (147) on “As an Organizational Change Practitioner, what is the single most important thing you’ve learned?”

Trust is the single largest asset in leading org change. Some give it openly and some you have to earn their trust – the key as a leader is to balance these challenges with a common approach and message. Nothing will lose people’s trust faster than mixed/conflicting messages from a leadership “team”. When it comes to executing the change – employees need 3 things: clearly defined roles/responsibilities, competency (as mentioned above), and a willingness to make it work. Role are defined, competency is built and willingness is a product of the trust I mentioned. Remember, you’re only leading a change, when people are willing to follow.
Posted by Stewart Pollard, P.Eng. MBA

Stewart, I totally agree with you. I have led changed with over 1000 organizations in 30 countries. I estimate that from 1962 to around 1985 communication was the predominant issue that most surfaced in organizations. Since then trust has become the number one issue in an organization. Therefore it is most important establish trust first between the top executive in his or her team. Then between the team and the organization of the change or transformation is occurring. From the old-fashioned teambuilding based on action research and founded on the principles of an organization T-Group best serve that purpose.

I just completed working with one of the major household corporate names in the world. Trust and transparency surfaced as the number one issue. Through a large group interactive experience we were able to bust through the trust issue. A key experience was what we called “elephant questions.” 300 people individually and through prioritizing in groups of eight came up with the “un-discussables” (to use the Chris Agyris phrase) in the organization. The executive leadership team each day would answer the most sensitive and challenging questions. People loved it. All questions that were not answered were given to the executives and they prepared answers that will go on a very rich internal web portal. The entire event was video taped. The questions answered live—will also go on the internal portal.

The most influential mentor for me from 1962 until his death was Jack Gibb. I had him as the most effective large group facilitator ever in the history of organization development. He could spontaneously take a group of 10,000 or three or four days and lead them through transformation. His theory of trust says that trust leads to openness that leads to self realization that leads to independence was always used.
I still use his “TORI” theory within each and every client. Up until recently his book on trust was available free online. I see it is disappeared. I just sent an email to Don to see if he can send it to me. Or u can purchase a copy on line.

Oh… Since this is an ODN group. Jack’s teaching of the TORI theory and masterful facilitation of the plenary at a ODN Conference most likely in the 70’s; just remarkable. We were all sitting on the carpet in small groups. He could just point to a section of the room and they would laugh!!!

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