Many thought leaders, authors, speakers, and executives we work with talk about the importance of trust.

In a recent interview, Jack Welch said, “Leadership today is all about two words: It’s all about truth and trust. You’ve got to have their back when they didn’t hit it out of the park and have their back when they did hit it out of the park. When they trust you, you’ll get the truth. And if you get the truth, you get speed. If you get speed, you’re going to act. That’s how it works.”

Stephen Covey wrote a book called The Speed of Trust. The tag line is, “Trust is everything.”

Patrick Lencioni identifies the Absence of Trust as the foundation of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Rachel Botsman says collaborative consumption goes back to old principles and that “trust is the currency.” She is referring to new market places like Airbnb where trustworthy strangers connect to create all kinds of people powered new marketplaces. Need a bicycle? There’s someone willing to share their bike in exchange for real and trust currency.   She goes on to say that reputation is the measurement of how a community trusts you.

I could go on and on. I think we all agree that trust is vital.

For the past 20 years, we’ve been living in the question of, “What can we do about something so vital?” We’ve field-tested new work in a transportation agency with 28,000 employees and a technology company with 35 employees.

We believe that TRUST is too big a word to live in any other way than a concept. Trust is both emotional and logical. In order to actually do the work of building, maintaining, rebuilding, and accelerating trust, we need to break it down, to UNPACK IT, in order to work with it.

It’s somewhat like a suitcase. We set out to travel and do our best to put everything essential in our suitcase. We reach our desired destination lugging or wheeling this big, heavy object around with us. We check in, get to our room, breathe a sign of relief, and begin unpacking. In some ways, that’s when the journey begins.

We have used this analogy to create simplified tools and exercises that break trust into 10 traits; 5 that are emotional and 5 that are logical. In this way, we can transform trust from a concept into something we can actually do something about.

We know that many people believe that trust can only be built slowly, over time. While we don’t entirely disagree with this belief, we also believe that we don’t always have the luxury of time and that there are things we can do together to build something so vital.

If building, maintaining, rebuilding and accelerating trust is as important to you as it is to us, stay tuned as we continue to share what we are learning by Unpacking Trust!