#WorkingOutLoud on the Trust Diagnostic Analysis: The Boss’s Business

Today i’m sharing more of the analysis of the prototype Trust diagnostic. I’m really just playing with this first instance of it, reworking some of the language, and finding ways to analyse and usefully present the data, on which note, thanks to Rebecca, who pointed out where i had rushed, and made a mistake on the scale yesterday, so corrected through her kind feedback today. Part of #WorkingOutLoud is to share your initial thoughts, and evolving understanding, so whilst i am nervous about the quality of this early work, it’s shared as part of the process of learning how to do it right!

Trust Diagnostic - The Boss

An individual’s personal life is not a boss’s business”, is the first question, and it explores organisational vs personal prioritisation. I’ve been playing recently with a social taxonomy, which is only ever going to be an abstraction, but it looks at ‘tribes’ being the primary cultural unit of organisation, which group together into communities (overlapping tribes) and Organisations (aggregated formal structures, overlapping multiple social ones). As part of the Trust work, i’m trying to look in detail at three levels within this: trust between two people, trust within communities and teams, and trust in organisations. The results above are from a group in Singapore: there’s some reason to believe that we will see cultural, ethnic, and gender based differences within groups, something that we will be able to explore as we build to a scale of data.

It’s probably unsurprising that 47% were ‘somewhat’, or ‘strongly’ in agreement. Personally i was surprised that 41% came out neutral: possibly it’s possible that we will see cultural differences here as well, or maybe not. Maybe we will see that the assumption of cultural difference is stronger than the reality.

In any event, these results reinforce the view that the boundary between ‘formal’, and ‘social’, between individual space, and organisational space, has blurred. The range of views is also significant, as it shows a range of perceptions within the group, which, i would argue, means the possibility of misunderstanding is greater.

I want to start playing with some narrative responses, for example:

Your group results show a broad spread of opinion, but clustered towards ‘neutral’ views, or views that ‘agree’. This may indicate that there is tendency to consider that ‘an individual’s personal life is not a boss’s business’, but by no means does it indicate that this is so all of the time.

If we were to play with ‘what you can do about it’, i may say:

With a broad spread like this, consider running open conversations around this topic: ask people to consider under what circumstances is this condition true, or false. Perhaps consider co-creating some informal rules around this. And for communal, social events, consider being explicit which rule set may apply: the formal rules of the organisation, or the social rules of the community.

We could try to write some narratives about the ‘individual’ vs ‘organisational’ prioritisation, which is the factor we are considering behind this question:

The fairly strong sense of neutral feeling, or cautious agreement with this statement may indicate a strong, local, tribal structure, with lower sense of loyalty to the Organisation itself: it may hold the potential for a ‘them and us’ attitude. Consider storytelling and story listening exercises to broaden the networks of understanding, to break these barriers down”.

Really, i’m just playing with analysis and format at this stage, but i will continue to #WorkOutLoud as i refine it.

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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