The TRUST Principles: How to Embrace the New World of Work

By Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson

The transformation of work in the digital, global era is gathering pace, with demonstrable benefits for business, people and the environment when it is well implemented. Yet many organizations cling to rigid, industrial age working patterns. Here, Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson set out their guidelines for making a successful transition to agile future work by challenging and changing organizational culture and management attitudes.

We have drawn up what we call the ‘TRUST principles’ for organizations that want to make a successful transition from the old to the new world of work. These are based on the business and socio-economic case for change, the large body of research on motivation and the effective approaches we have encountered in our research. They are designed to be global guidelines.

1. Trust your people

2. Reward results

3. Understand the business case

4. Start at the top

5. Treat people as individuals


1. Trust your people

Time and again in our discussions with business leaders and managers, trust emerges as the essential ingredient when people are liberated to do their best work. Trust is a two-way process, requiring open-mindedness and adaptability on both sides.

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