Trust flow LO29754

From: Chris Macrae (
Date: 01/04/03

Replying to LO29728 --

DW wrote
> Could you elaborate on the concept "trust flow"? I've been interested in
> the role of trust in organizations (and how it might be different in an
> LO) for a while now. I've read a bit of Frank Fukuyama's book "Trust"
> (see for example
>, and have
> an idea (which I haven't spent a lot of time on) that the effectiveness of
> an organization is dependent, at least in part, on the level of trust
> among the members and suborganizations. Does this relate to your concept?

I prefer to follow the following logic in pure terms though many times I
thinks it translates into other descriptions/patterns including most of
those that I remember from my reading of Fukuyama's book (also Castell's
book etc)- however whether we speak trust, value, leadership, quality, I
believe we simply must let the stakeholder have a voice in how they select
that from their side of a relationship, so

--segment every stakeholder (eg groups of employees, groups of customers,
groups of owners, groups of partner channels, groups representing
society/environment who ultimately give an organization a licence to
continue) that a particular organisation currently believes it values
being trusted by - and clarify one or two things that most break or make
every segment's relationship of trust with the organisation

an organisation has a system of trusted relationships that is spinning
virtuously if it can deliver/exchange all these different trust-makers as
win-wins when you assess the compatibility of pairs of these trust-makers at
a time;
-see The Map at

it is potentially spinning viciously whenever a serious trust requirement
is being broken because it is not compatible with delivering it at the
same time as another trust demand made by another stakeholder who
presumably has more short-term power to influence that they get their way

this model can be focused by clarifying whether some group really is one
that an organization needs a relationship rather than agreed
transactioning of each other on; but what is not trustworthy is to promise
a group of people that you have their relationship need at heart when you
are either actually trying to transaction them (ie lying) or operationally
prepared to sacrifice their relationship rights to another stakeholder. It
is interesting when you then look at accounting of quarterly numbers - how
transactional, how much of a liar that will make your organization to open
relationship objectives if your permit yourself to be monopoly governed by
these numbers; they are negatively correlated with system/community trust
of the whole

interestingly, almost all goodwill etc is really a company's relationship
capital or intimately connected with it; moreover almost all of this is at
risk of zeroisation if you have even one really rotten relationship - as
Andersen found out billions of dollars of so called value destroyed
because reputation is the connections of trust between an organization's
community of stakeholders

A point to note is that whilst we can mathematically build a complete
system and logical model by assessing what is it that the stakeholder
values from their side of a relationship, we can also make fairly
reasonable interpretations of the integrity of patterning required to
systematically produce win-wins across all stakeholders; this "building to
last" comes down to having a clear purpose, vision; doing and learning to
next to do at better value than any other organisation/network; having the
knowledge and passions and indeed trust of your community of stakeholders
because you there is an open flow of information to and for across all

If anyone is having difficulty in seeing this is a natural and simple
definition of trust-flow, maybe we need to take a context, or the nature
of your particular difficulty needs voicing

as systems people we need to get over any brainwashing that may have come
about from people saying that quarterly numbers are precise and prudent;
for a living system , stated by themselves quarterly numbers are a
misrepresentation of hard accuracy because they do not account for the
dynamics now being compounded across the system; in a relationship world
you cannot separate your last quarter's performance from the next; and in
fact we know the more the system has been tampered with (and left for lies
to compound) the more it is at risk of total value destruction; compound
effects of trust multiply in a way that adding and subtracting numbers
separately is the mathematically the wrong model to use; so any large
organization that insists on only being governed by quarterly numbers will
run out of system trust in an openly networked world; expect to see many
more multi billion-dollar organizational collapses until the numbers
monopoly is overthrown from the way business performance is assessed

chris macrae Open Sourcing The Map as standard of Transparent
Governance of Trust-Flow - Wiley (in press)


"Chris Macrae" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.