In his book (2006) The Speed of Trust, Stephen M R Covey draws together a very convincing argument about how a high level of trust shared by organisational colleagues, management, clients, suppliers and distributors, has a positive effect on the speed in which things get done and the associated cost. No doubt this extends to quality as well.
In essence it’s an economic formula: when trust is high, speed increases and cost decreases, but when trust is at a low level, speed decreases and cost increases. Simple, brilliant message!
In a previous post “Harnessing Creativity – one way to control budget blowouts” I indicated that it was necessary to place some constraint on creativity without stifling it. I suggested it was all about balance, because creativity and certainly innovation will only flow when levels of trust are high.
The Learning Cafe theme for November 2011 reinforced, in my mind, the link between trust and creativity and how important it is to attract, engage and retain good people in learning, development and knowledge functions.
It’s important to build reputation outside the organisation through practical example and employee advocacy so as to attract the people we need. And the people we need are those with infectious enthusiasm, who are willing to learn and grow, to think broadly and creatively, question methods, apply theory appropriately and focus on performance. We need to engage these people when we get them by building high levels of trust and also pride so they are more likely to display discretionary effort (go the extra mile) and pride (have quality mindset, speak highly of their work, work mates and the learning function). That is to become advocates for our organisations and the learning functions.
So, while “outside” recognition and reputation is important, L&D functions need to build these attributes within the organisation to ensure we provide compelling and meaningful work with professional growth opportunities while encouraging creativity and the sharing of know-how, listening to ideas and acting on them. Trust or Bust – attracting and growing performance professionals