The importance of trust and the value of frameworks

David Cruickshank has written a great guest post on Techcrunch UK this morning – Trust me, I’m a start-up.

His basic point that trust is very important, is one that is sometimes forgotten in business. The whole post is well worth a read, but I particularly liked the framework he offers for understanding the building blocks of trust (this comes from the essay Trust & Trust Building):

  1. Ability – our competency to deliver on our promises
  2. Integrity – our credibility of communication and commitment to fairness
  3. Benevolence – the intentions and motives behind our actions

I like this because a) I think trust is critical, and will become more so as the web becomes more pervasive, b) it defines the building blocks in a manner that is simple and easy to remember, and c) it offers a framework against which one can assess a business.

Frameworks like this are great because they force you to look at all the elements of whatever it is you are trying to deliver. In this case it helps avoid the easy trap of assuming people should trust you just because you are bleed integrity or just because you can be relied upon to get the job done.

There are of course many different frameworks vying for our attention (the work of Tara Hunt which I cited recently is another). I think that it is a useful exercise to periodically evaluate your business against the ones you believe in most, but the bigger value comes from taking the time to think about good frameworks and have them feed into your intuition to make you smarter in your every day activities.