Trust is ultimately built on experience – ours and those close to us – and that experience is most often shared through the stories that we tell. It’s far easier to tell stories that reflect badly on individuals and institutions in the current social climate than it is to tell positive stories. And with the expansion of new communications media, the stories themselves are transmitted faster, more accurately (by which I mean true to the original telling) and to more people than ever before. No wonder there’s a deterioration in trust.
And by trying to compensate by setting out new principles does nothing to alter the experience – or the perception of the experience – that is shared elsewhere. If we really want to change that we need to change the stories – the content, the context and the underlying messages. And that’s far more difficult.