Book review: The Decision to Trust

Emma De Vita reviews a new book by Professor Robert Hurley

The Decision To Trust
The Decision To Trust

Professor Robert Hurley argues in his book that it is almost impossible to manage an organisation well if its people do not trust one another. He says that high-performing, world-class organisations are almost always high-trust places and, without this elusive quality, companies cannot attract or retain top talent.

But there has been a decline in trust over the past few decades and a new culture of cynicism towards government, big business and large institutions prevails. This creates many problems for organisations - even charities.

The solution lies in Hurley's Decision to Trust Model of factors to establish whether or not one party will trust the other. The 10 factors include risk-tolerance, situational security, predictability and communication. These factors enable a manager to ascertain why trust is high or low and identify areas for intervention.

The first thing, however, is for managers to be trustworthy and to expect the same from those they manage. Ask yourself: do you speak the truth? Do you seem to care about others? Are the people you manage comfortable that you will do the right thing? Trust begins at home: get this right and the others will follow.

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