Upcoming Events 6/18/2010

This June and July seem to be the most busy summer months since 2006…thanks to the FIFA World Cup. And just like FIFA, we have been taking a global approach to our events listing this week. We hope you are able to join us for some of the incredibly interesting and informational events listed below (when you’re not too busy rooting for your favorite football team, of course!).

Wed. June 23rd      Global Access          Sandy Styer

Sandy Styer, the head of the Trusted Advisor Diagnostics group, will present the findings of  the largest study on trustworthiness ever completed: the Trusted Advisor Whitepaper entitled "Think Again", and the implications for business This research covered over 12,000 respondents. FREE. 4:00PM EST. 30 minutes duration. Contact: [email protected] to register.

Fri. July 2nd          Singapore          Trip Allen

Trip Allen will be speaking on Trust-based Selling at the Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS) Members’ Night–Top 20 Sales Pitches of the World. The event is exclusive and complimentary to all MIS members. 6:30-10:30PM. Venue: MIS Executive Club (51 Anson Road, #03-53 Anson Centre, Singapore 079904).  For more information, please take a look at the brochure.

Thurs. July 8th          Singapore          Trip Allen

Preview trust-based skills and techniques that allow you to forge quicker yet long-lasting relationships, so as to increase your overall business. Trip will be speaking on Trust Edge: Trust-based Selling & Business Development at Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS). 6:00–9:00PM. Open to the public. Fees: MIS  Student/Member-$20; Partner-$35; Non-member-$35. Venue: MIS Executive Club (51 Anson Road, #03-53 Anson Centre, Singapore 079904). For more information, please take a look at the brochure.

Tues. Sept. 28th          Washington, DC          Andrea Howe & Charles H. Green

Save the date for Trusted Advisor Associates’ foundational, core two-day program Being a Trusted Advisor: Walking the Talk; co-led by Andrea Howe and Charles H. Green. More details and official registration information to come.

Trust in Singapore

Greetings from Singapore.

The photo at left is of the Merlion, one of the city-state’s iconic statues—part lion, part mermaid. It’s a symbol of eclecticism—not “town of beans,” or “town by the bay,” or “city of light.” No, this is where water-spitting lion meets mermaid. Part land, part water; part fact, part fiction.

Singapore is part Malay, part Chinese, part Indian. Part open democracy, part tight governmental control. Part Western, part Eastern.

But all significant. Singapore’s population is only 4 and a half million. But it ranks number 9 in the world in foreign currency holdings. On a per capita basis, that dwarfs the other eight.

The Eurozone’s foreign currency holdings are about $3,000 per person. Japan is $15,000. But Singapore is $44,000 per capita. And you can double that if you include Temasek, Singapore’s quasi-Sovereign Wealth fund—a triple-A rated fund, one of whose smaller holdings is over 5% of Merrill Lynch with an option to go to just under 10%

In other words, a country on the move. And a fascinating example of diversity.

In my seminars on trust in business, there is always a discussion about whether trust varies culturally. Invariably, we rediscover that the core elements of trust are universal—but that their expression varies considerably.

The higher the diversity in the room, the higher the quality of discussion about this issue. Which is why discussions about trust in Singapore are among the best I encounter, and inevitably teach me a lot.

To live in Singapore, and to live in a large company with Asian presence, is to recognize the fact of interdependence in the emerging world economy. Your co-workers are Malays, Chinese, Indian; Muslim, Hindu, Christian; Indonesian, Pakistani, Thai, Australian. Where you go to lunch can be a cultural and religious decision. So a discussion of trust is a broad conversation indeed.

Is trust important to the Chinese? Sure, if you mean the cultural ritual of getting to know you before making business decisions. No, if you mean the suspicion that is the legacy of corrupt communist government in modern mainland China.

Is credibility an important part of trust in Asia? Sure, if you mean who you know. Not so much, if you mean technical expertise. Unless you got that expertise at a highly credible institution. Though of course on the other hand…

And so on. These discussions force us to higher levels of abstraction, in order to make sense of our daily interactions.

Here’s what I come away with. There is a universal human and social drive for connection—it manifests personally, politically, commercially, religiously, romantically, and tribally. It is reflected in political alliances, commercial ventures, etiquette, and modes of dispute resolution. All cultures and people need to express disagreement, for example. Just be careful when using Dutch approaches to disagreement in Tokyo, for example.

Arrayed against this drive are the forces and circumstances of fear, poverty, ignorance, custom, history, and xenophobia.

The conflict between the two manifests in aggression, suspicion, and—in business—an ideology based on the concept of competition.

The fundamental shift in the business world today is a move from competition toward commerce. From competing against your customers to collaborating with them. From getting over on others to getting along with them. From the replacement of contracts by trust as a means of mitigating business risk.

Asia has a lot to teach the West about the power of getting along. From reliance on contracts to the use of trust to mitigate business risk. Asia has a lot to teach the West about the power of getting along.  Economically it beats the hell out of competing with each other.

Singapore is visceral evidence of that.