22 July 2005

The Spectrum of Trust...

What is TRUST? Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you feel it? Maybe all of these. But does it live on a dynamic spectrum?

No Trust<----------Trust Exists--------->Implicit Trust

When you trust someone or something, you put "faith" in it. You are more inclined to invest your time and effort to spend time with it and to ensure that it thrives and grows. Because when you move from the far left where "No Trust" exists and move to the right, somewhere along that spectrum trust begins to exist. And it isn't until you get to a point when you never think about it again, that maybe you can say that trust is "Implicit".

Steven Mufson has an interesting perspective on risk and trust:

As much as President Bush or British Prime Minister Tony Blair say we won't let terrorists change our lives, this could be the start of a new era, and not in a good way. There is something unsettling about the idea of turning America into a nation of snitches and amateur spies. Is the guy taking photos of the George Washington Bridge a terrorist or the next Henri Cartier-Bresson? Are people wandering in front of national monuments scoping out targets or are they tourists? And do you trust the strangers around you to make those judgments based on looks and feelings?

All the same, on the Metro last week, I departed from my usual routine of simply reading the newspaper, or looking over a manuscript, or daydreaming. I found myself glancing up to look at the other passengers and their bags, or to gauge the distance to the stairs, or read the instructions on the emergency exits. Reassuring? Maybe.

In any case, this week you'll be able to find me on the platform waiting for the next train.

Taking risks is about degrees of trust. The amount of risk you decide to accept is directly tied to the degree to which you are willing to trust the entity that you are placing your faith in. Whether it's your spouse, your broker, your boss, your company, your partner, your supplier, your board of directors, your congressman or your government; each entity lives and changes on this spectrum of trust.

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