Trust P&L


  • The digital world is a world of relations. Relations are built on trust; therefore, trust is a necessary ingredient for success in a digital enterprise.
  • Without trust, there is no connection between enterprise and customers, no distribution of intelligence or roles between B2B partners, and no shared data lake.
  • Trust is built at human speed and destroyed at Internet speed.
  • Fraud and hacking are obvious trust antagonists, but barrages of invasive advertising, the constant stabbing of the private sphere, and the rain of invasive offers—not to mention fake news—are effective passion killers, too.


  • The digital enterprise has to introduce trust accounting, where trust is measured, assessed, and counted. Every digital initiative or investment has to yield a trust increment or at least avoid trust loss.
  • With trust accounting comes trust accountability. Designers, developers, and cybersecurity experts need to become the guardians of trust and design thinking is needed to address how to cultivate trust between clients, customers, employees, and partners.

How to?

Designing for trust needs to be transparent, bidirectional, offensive, and defensive:

  • Transparent: cybersecurity has to be seen or perceived. The private sphere must be unambiguously recognized, sensitivity to data protection must be patented, and the use of personal information circumscribed.
  • Bidirectional: trust is a two-way street. Trust others so that they trust you.
  • Offensive: seeking trust gain by replacing the weak links in the trust chain, for example by a blockchain.
  • Passive: avoid trust loss through precautionary measures and cybersecurity.

So what?

  • The more the digital enterprise becomes relatable, intelligent, and trusted, the more it gains power.
  • If trust is the currency of the digital world, power is its rule: it can be gained at network speed and dominates globally but runs the risk of vanishing at the blink of an eye.
  • Using the trust dimension to leverage power intelligently might be the best survival kit in this digital world—or is it a digital jungle out there after all?

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