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Increase trust, reduce fear

“The most critical challenge for any organization is to enlarge the circle of trust.”

Command-and-control systems reflect a deep mistrust of employees’ commitment and competence. They also tend to overemphasize sanctions as a way of forcing compliance. That’s why so many organizations are filled with anxious employees who are hesitant to take the initiative or trust their own judgment. Organizational adaptability, innovation, and employee engagement can only thrive in a high-trust, low-fear culture. In such an environment, information is widely shared, contentious opinions are freely expressed, and risk taking is encouraged. Fear paralyzes, mistrust demoralizes—they must be wrung out of our management systems.

124 Stories
238 Hacks
22 Barriers

Increase trust, reduce fear

“The most critical challenge for any organization is to enlarge the circle of trust.”

Command-and-control systems reflect a deep mistrust of employees’ commitment and competence. They also tend to overemphasize sanctions as a way of forcing compliance. That’s why so many organizations are filled with anxious employees who are hesitant to take the initiative or trust their own judgment. Organizational adaptability, innovation, and employee engagement can only thrive in a high-trust, low-fear culture. In such an environment, information is widely shared, contentious opinions are freely expressed, and risk taking is encouraged. Fear paralyzes, mistrust demoralizes—they must be wrung out of our management systems.

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While teaching about the importance of in depth conversations between managers and employees a CEO client raised this question.
Barrier by Peggy Hanley on June 8, 2011
Giving everyone with experience and the will to give back is the mission and objective, almost evryone is an expert in something.
Story by Dan Auito on May 26, 2013
Using traditional HR practices to achieve outstanding business success is like using gasoline to fight a fire.
Hack by Kim Bechtel on August 31, 2011
How many of you have seen this sarcastic picture of a manager keyboard with a single key on it? The now famous "FYI" key...
Hack by Olivier Lavergne on December 1, 2010
Authority in most group scenarios is taken, not necessarily granted, so I decided to change up the rules a bit. And I mean rules in the literal sense.
Hack by Rod Johnson on May 26, 2013
How many times have you been asked if you’re crazy?Insanity has been defined by many great scholars, including the great theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, as doing the same thing over, and over a
Hack by Tara Waite on December 4, 2011
There are three universal truths about traditional performance appraisals. They are widely used, universally despised, and are known to be ineffective.
Story by Christopher D. Lee on October 1, 2020
I in a recent meeting with about 15 local small business CEOs I was struck by a discussion about one firm’s growth struggles.
Story by Jack McGuinness on February 2, 2011
The organisational utopia consisting of an entirely inspired workforce completely engaged with management, their colleagues, their roles and their organisation and employees empowered to utilise their
Hack by Patrick Maher on December 14, 2011
Corporate politics are a drag on innovation and employee engagement.  Too many managers are worried about not rocking the boat or aligning themselves with the right corporate officer to ensure th
Story by Stuart Thompson on September 16, 2010

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