Trust in Alliances

Trust is an essential element for building and managing alliances and partnerships. But what is trust, and can you measure trust? In this fireside chat Anoop and Peter talk about trust in alliances and how you can measure it by using the Trust Equation from Trusted Advisors Associates.

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Trust in Alliances – Video transcript:

Peter: So here we are, again, Anoop welcome this afternoon in this warm weather. We were both wearing different clothing not really businesslike, but more weather appropriate like clothing, aren’t we?

Anoop: Absolutely. It’s lovely and warm in the UK as it is in the Netherlands.

Peter: So I see this quote in front of me and it says trust comes from foot, but leaves on horseback. In other words, it takes a lot of time to build trust and it can be gone before you know it. Now, how important is trust for alliances and even connected to that, can we measure trust? What do you think?

Anoop: Okay, so there’s a couple of things, a couple of questions that Peter trust is absolutely foundational in an Alliance, without that no Alliance, no partnership will survive or exist and you need trust at two levels internally, with your stakeholders but trust externally as well. Yeah. So I think that’s really, really important. And we can think about trust and then there’s trustworthiness. Okay. So the first thing we need to say is trust is very much about our behaviors. Yeah. trustworthiness is how trustworthy are we? Right? And I think so, there’s an equation that we talked about from a trustworthiness perspective. And people say you can’t measure trust Well, there’s several things I could say you can measure it. One of the ways of measuring it is if trust is broken, look at what happens with an alliance it fails. So the amount of investment you put into Alliance etc, failed. So guess what, you can measure it. But another way of measuring it is there is this formula which you and I have not made up. It’s a formula that’s in existence, but trust is measured in a quotient by on the numerator, credibility Plus reliability plus intimacy, divided by self interest or self orientation. Now, let me just quickly discuss credibility is about how credible You and I are, right? How do we know how well we know our stuff? reliability is around. If we say we’re going to do something, we do it. Right. intimacy is how close we are with the potential partner. And then the key one, on the denominator is self orientation or self interest. And that is about that’s important. You need to keep that really, really low and the other is really high. Self orientation is if I keep thinking about me, right, my self orientation is high, and therefore the trust quotient will actually be hampered, it’ll become lower. If I walk in my Alliance partners shoes and I think about them all the time. My self orientation is nice and low, and they keep the equation nice and high. So you can actually measure it. There’s a lot of qualitative measures within that, but you can actually measure it. And in fact, I actually did that one of one of the alliances when I was at Nokia. I brought that in and it was mind blowing to people to think about it.

Peter: Right. Quite interesting. The topic elements you mentioned when you put that in the light of the current Corona pandemic. So intimacy, you said, how close you are with someone. Yeah, in the Netherlands, we used a phrase to do one and a half meter economy. Everybody needs to stay a distance. So this is not about not about physical closeness. But this is more about the personal closeness of the relationship. So you are what is 600 kilometers away from me or a couple of miles away from me. And still we have an intimate relationship in our partnership.

Anoop: Correct. And I think that’s really important. I wanted to come on to the self orientation piece as well, because I think that’s, that’s important. So how do we think about that, you know, from being in our shoes to being in the partner shoes? One such example is if we as partner managers get measured based on targets that we have to hit, etc. How do we minimize our self orientation by going to our partners, instead of going to partners and saying, Hey, we need you, we need to hit your target, otherwise we don’t get our bonus, etc. How do we change that language? How do we change that dialect? And we can do that by going to partners and saying and actually saying, we’re going to measure we’re gonna get measured or bonus based on how well you do. Right? So you’ve changed in the dialect, you’re changing the way this whole thing works, etc. And you’re lowering yourself orientation by putting yourself into their shoes

Peter: Let’s talk about WE in the next fireside chat.

Anoop: Absolutely. It’s a big, big topic and we can talk about that for a long, long time.

Peter: We surely can. Thank you for today Anoop

Anoop: Thanks, Peter.


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