The Economics of Trust

From “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M. R. Covey

A cynic might ask, “So what? Is trust really more than a nice-to-have social virtue, a so-called hygiene factor? Can you measurably illustrate that trust is a hard-edged economic driver?” I intent to answer these questions emphatically in this book by clearly demonstrating the strong business case for trust.

Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from an intangible and unquantifiable variable to an indispensable factor that is both tangible and quantifiable. The formula is based on this critical insight: Trust always affects two outcomes – speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up.

When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down. It’s that simple, that real, that predictable.