Besides climate change, unhinged global flu pandemics and serious challenges to the proper functioning of our economies - the one aspect of life in 2020 that is of major concern too many, is the rapid deterioration of trust between groups of people.
Increasingly we read news headlines about extreme ideological polarisation between groups. The process of calmly debating a point of view seems to no longer exist.
Some groups of people are so deeply sceptical about the held point of view of 'the other' that no amount of reasoning, or 'evidence', or 'fact' is likely to help them change their minds.
This phenomenon of distrust of truth isn't something that has just sprung up overnight. It is a consequence of the inequality of progress enjoyed by some, and excluding others.
Under conditions of distrust created by the unregulated advancement of some - 'the truth' becomes a point of view.
'Facts' are journaled and documented by those with enough money to create them; and if those 'facts' as seen to serve the interests of a few at the expense of the many- you got serious problems.
The future without trust
But what does the future look like for a world where there is a lack of trust between groups of people?
Can you have a functioning society without objective truth?
Obviously you can't have a society that functions properly if people don't trust each other.
How can a society function properly if there is scepticism of its institutions?
How can it work for all if there is no universal support of its leadership?
5 ways that you can create more trust in a society or your organisation?
- Have a clear and believable future vision - What's important is having a vision that everyone can be a part of and is inspired by. It has to work for all and be believable to all.
- Have clear milestones of progress as a part of that vision - Have clear and logical steps as to how this vision will be realised. Make sure that you document your progress and celebrate the small wins along the way.
- Eliminate ambiguity - Go out of your way to make sure that everyone is absolutely crystal clear as to what it is that has been said, decided on and what is expected of them. If there is any ambiguity here, people will simply fill in the blanks for themselves and you've got problems once again.
- Ensure that everyone is able to make a success of it - It would be stupid to think that everyone will simply progress at the same pace. For those who are more challenged to succeed, ensure that you have adequate coaching and mentoring to assist where needed. This isn't a handout, it's a leg up.
- Have strong ethical leadership - One of the main problems with CEOs getting paid huge salaries and bonuses, is that this conduct erodes trust in organisations and with consumers. Leadership cannot be in the position of leading for the soul benefit of themselves. Great leaders make sure that everyone prospers. Lose the moral high-ground and you've lost the trust of the people.
Societies and organisations that lack trust are not sustainable. It's the job of leadership to get working on fixing this, cause no amount of 'stimulus package' or supposed economic growth is going to magically fix it.