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Trust measurement is going micro

I’ve been hosting business meetings and conferences which have discussed “trust” and how to improve and prove it, for some years now.

Thus far, I’ve yet to see or hear much that is compelling on meaningful trust measurement*.

I know why this is.

It’s about inputs.

The methodologies, and time spent, and resources allocated, have been nowhere near enough to come up with something meaningful.

Trust measurement has been macro. Which means quantatitive data. Which means big error ratios.

Trust measurement is going micro.

The question for the future, particularly in the supply chain, will be a simple one:

“How much do we trust these guys to deliver?”

Deliver will mean on time, at quality, and increasingly sustainably and ethically produced.

We’re shifting supply chains slowly from transactions back to relationships.

Relationships are built on trust.

Not audits, not compliance, not tick box, not lawyer meetings.


Measuring micro-trust is the future.

We’d better get started.

*yes I know employee surveys are one way, and so are supplier surveys. But they are far too blunt an instrument to be really strategic and useful.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting idea, Toby.

    In an era of resource scarcity and population growth, economic relationships rebalance in favour of suppliers. Members of 2degrees Working Groups are reporting that the pursuit of collaborative efficiency is helping to increase the focus on trust in buyer-supplier transactions where future balance of bargaining power is uncertain. This opens up opportunity for a variety of non-market values to enter into negotiations. M&S buyers negotiate with suppliers to address at least one Plan A value. Walmart's scorecarding does something similar. Meanwhile smaller suppliers look for long term commitments from larger customers to support high upfront costs of sustainability capex.

    But I'm not aware of this trust being turned into measures/KPIs at anything below the company level. Do you have any examples?