12 Aspects of Trust

I’ve started to tease out the 12 aspects of ‘trust‘ that i’ll use to guide the development of ‘The Trust Sketchbook‘. The Sketchbook is going to be my crowdfunded experimental Zine and will form a co-created and co-drawn reflection on ‘Trust in Organisations’. The 12 areas that i’ll explore in the Sketchbook come from the wider ‘Landscape of Trust’ study. I thought i’d provide a brief overview today.

12 Aspects of Trust

TECHNOLOGY: in the prototype study last year, we saw that people ‘trusted‘ formal technology (provided to them by an organisation) less than they trusted ‘social‘ technology that they owned themselves. With that in mind, we will explore consequence, ownership, permanence, implicit contracts, and visibility.

CREATIVITY: with so many organisations asking for agility, and seeking to innovate more effectively, what is the relationship between trust and creativity? We will explore ‘trust in yourself‘, trust in sharing, trust in self expression, exposing ideas, trust in co-creation.

FAILURE: can you trust the organisation to keep you safe when you fail? Can you experiment without failing? We will explore questions about attitude to failure, and trust in the Organisation, or your co-creative community, to keep you safe.

ETHNICITY: how do national or cultural traditions impact on understanding of trust? We will explore if trust varies around the world, and if there are times when these notions of trust collide.

TAXONOMY: i’m developing a taxonomy of trust, from ‘no trust’, through ‘functional trust’, up to ‘invested trust’, and ‘blind trust’. How does this reflect our individual experiences? We will explore how we feel trust, and whether there is a common taxonomy we can relate to.

CURRENCY: can trust be bought or sold? Can we quantify the invested level? Or is this a convenient language that we have inherited: convenient, but imperfect. We will explore how trust is held, and whether it can truly and fairly be considered in currency terms.

NEUROLOGY: how is trust held in the brain? Can we visualise and image trust? And does the way the brain processes trust relate to how we describe or experience this? We will explore the art and science of trust, and see if fact meets experience.

VISIBILITY: how visibly do we hold trust? Does it make a difference if we can see it, or is an implicit value good enough? We will explore how we personally visualise and share trust with others.

ORGANISATIONAL: in the prototype study, people identified that ‘organisational‘ trust was different from that held between individuals, but this was not universally held to be true. We will explore our individual and collective views of trust and the ways that it is held in organisations.

GROUP: do groups hold trust? Do teams or organisational functions have any inherent grouping of trust? We will explore group dynamics in trust, as well as what happens when trust ceases to be shared equally in a group.

CULTURE: organisations talk about a culture of trust, but is this type of culture almost an abstract construct? We will explore how the organisational view of trust meets the individual, and whether you can ever take a cultural view in organisations.

GENDER: in the preliminary work, there is a strongly held gender based difference in how men and women describe trust. We will explore this, and see if it’s intuition or evidence based, as well as how we individually feel about this, and whether it steers our actions.

The Trust Sketchbook

So those are the 12 aspects of trust that i’ll be exploring in The Trust Sketchbook. There are still two days left to be part of this experiment, and to help make the book a reality. You can take part here.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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16 Responses to 12 Aspects of Trust

  1. Pingback: ‘The Trust Sketchbook’ is coming | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Hi Julian. Thank you for this very clear overview. I ha d been struggling to grasp what was meant with the landscape of trust so far. This blog post brought some most needed clarity.
    As I was reading I asked myself the following: imagine I consider I can have a good level of trust in my organisation (my club, my company, my country). But then an organisation I consider similar to mine gets disrupted in a way that damages trust. How can we make sense of the changes and doubts I might suddenly develop about my own organisation?
    Is this something you will cover or is it not the purpose? Thanks again for pushing my thinking with you great work.

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