I recently listened to a TED Talks Daily podcast where Marcos Aguiar, an engineer and consultant, talked about business ecosystems that build and sustain trust. He began by asking how many people would allow strangers to pick up their children, drive them around town, drop them off at a remote location and pay them to do so.
He then shared that this was the foundation of a company started by three women that began in one city and grew to others that transported children to and from after-school activities. This organization was built on what Marcos calls systemic trust – trust in the business or system.
From a study he conducted, he identified various factors that are used when building an organization based upon trust. Four of the factors are:
- Access focuses on who is (and who isn’t) allowed to interact with the organization.
- Incentives provide rewards and motivators for specific types of activities and behaviors the organization expects.
- Transparency communicates a clear message to the consumer, and an example of this is reviews by customers about the business
- Contracts allow parties to agree to terms and conditions of doing business together.
Marcos shared that there is not a single tool that can build trust by itself, and that most businesses seemed to use three to five of the tools he identified in the podcast.
Another interesting concept he raised was that most businesses that build trust used both digital and non-digital tools when designing their systems. Think about this for a moment. When you buy things on online shopping platforms or use a particular online service to book your next trip, why do you trust one business model over another?
How do you build trust in your business with your customers, clients, contractors, or suppliers? What tools did you use to build and sustain that trust? How could you incorporate the tools that Marcos mentioned?
Does any of this resonate with you? Would you like the link to the original podcast? Drop me a note and let me hear from you!