Trust Deficits & Courageous Imagination

by Theo Edmonds, Culture Futurist™ & Strategist

#Trust in companies is like #peanutbutter + #pineapples. You never know when you might get a feather. 🤔 Want to know why every leader should understand what this means? Keep reading.

As a #CultureFuturist (part #researcher + part #strategist) in both #public and #private sectors, two articles grabbed my attention today that deserve a deep dive together.

First, a new report shows #executives significantly overestimate the trust #consumers + #employees have in their brand. (

Second, Fast Company notes that companies and people alike are prone to “ASCRIBING INTELLIGENCE TO MACHINES, DENYING IT TO HUMANS — the same #cognitivebias that makes people ascribe #humanity to #machinelearning and #ai, can cause them to treat actual humans in inhumane ways.” This increases the #trustdeficit. — more on #peanutbutter #pineapples #feathers in the full article here:

As we increasingly rely on #coding to drive #digital transition to #futureofwork, are we opening ourselves to further damaging trust and other critical human skills like #creativity #compassion and #curiosity? A decline in these will surely result in adverse impacts on #wellbeing + #innovation.

SO WHAT TO DO? Let’s start with trust. Here are a few insights from different research disciplines:

1. Trust is fragile. It is an earned relationship developed over time. It can’t be “built” by one side only.

2. External messaging to consumers must be consistent with internal #employeeexperience. If not, empirical evidence shows this misalignment actually reduces overall firm performance.

3. #GENZ (who turn 25yo this year and are 20% of global #workforce by 2025) is particularly open to switching brands quickly when they perceive a misalignment.

Here’s what it looks like when leaders get trust and #communication right. Arlan Hamilton Backstage Capital 👏🏻


The ways of thinking that got us here, may not be the best indicators of future success. In making the #future of #workculture, work for all, both #courage and #imagination are required. That’s why the University of Colorado Denver and a collaborator network of #creatives, #scientists, #enterpreneurs, and #changemakers are on a long-term journey together, called the Imaginator Academy, to map, measure, and raise up #CourageousImagination across America’s #workforce.

#ImaginatorAcademy’s national census is now LIVE!! (short explainer video below). In it, we are empirically assessing the relationship between diverse American identities and how they differently experience (1) #culturechange and (2) #innovation (including many different areas of the #arts, #sports, #science, #engineering, #business, #entrepreneurship, etc.). The goal is to spark innovation initiatives resulting in both #human + #economicgrowth and increased #CultureROI.

Check it out, share with your friends and colleagues and let’s make a future of work, that works for all.




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Culture Futurist ™

Culture Futurist ™


Rockies-based Culture Futurist™from Appalachia. Pioneering into the wilderness of unopened life at intersection of Arts, Science, and Business.