Normally when you think of trust you think of people you trust. People that you’ve met and known for a long time, whose character you’ve seen put to the test often enough that you can be sure of its mettle.
However how many organizations do you trust? Like really, really trust in the same way that you can be sure of a friend or even an acquaintance?
Where would you rank your employer, your bank, your government?
I’m guess not very high on the list.
But why is that? Why do we have such an easier time trusting individuals but such a hard time trusting organizations? If you think about it you should probably trust your government more than most of your friends because unlike them you have a say in how they act. And your bank is legally held responsible by the government.
So why do you have an easier time trusting Steve to bring your car back after borrowing it for a weekend, yet you give your bank the stink-eye when they ask for a little bit of money for safe-guarding your life’s savings?
It’s because organizations aren’t people and their actions, like those of any large group, are difficult to predict and there isn’t anyone to hold directly responsible
Who’s in charge here?
With banks, governments, and companies, no one employee is 100% responsible for keeping the word of the organization. Sure, they might say that CEO is or that the president/senator is held accountable by the people. Yet you see the organizations fail time and again and very few things change along the way.
When people act on behalf of organizations they divorce themselves from both feeling of obligation and trust. Most people would rip off a neighbor or even keep the wallet of a complete stranger if they saw it fall out. But they will work for banks giving out predatory loans or selling dangerous products to the public without a care in the world.
Because they can say “hey nothing personal,’ “It’s just business,” or “I’m just doing my job.” And, in a way, it is. They represent the business, not themselves and any wrong done is easily passed onto the nebulous ‘company’ while their conscience is hardly sullied.
This is why trust between friends or acquaintances is so much surer. You can see the individual and know who is responsible for what. And that individual cannot push his own malfeasance onto someone else.
And this is something we are returning to with cryptocurrency…