Friday, September 9, 2011

We don't trust each other

I just wanted to share some thoughts about trust in the public sector and rather than wax poetic I figured I'd just share this excerpt from the Scheming Virtuously presentation I delivered at the Next Generation of Government Summit in Washington DC (I've also transcribed the excerpt below)

"You don't have physical control over the structures within which you work, but you do have control over how you operate within those structures. Don't let the physical nature of a very square environment box you into very square thinking or very square approach to relationships.

We need to build trust with other people. Trust is like the secret sauce and it is what is lacking in our organizations like nothing else. No one trusts anyone. Its the CYA email, the cover your ass email. Where we have a conversation, you agree to do something, and as soon as we leave I go back to my desk and send you an email that says what you've agreed to do and I cc our bosses on it. So, just so, because, you know, the implication is you aren't going to do it. So I want to be able to hold you to that.

That's not trust, that's a slap in the face. We might as well have a meeting and I could just walk up and slap you in the face [laughter] and be done with it. That's... That's .. We laugh because we know its true. We don't actually change the culture we put up Dilbert comics in our cubicles."

Originally published by Nick Charney at
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