In Trust We Are Free

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Today was a sad day for me. It was also an opportunity to reflect on one of our values and how important values are. Important because when you think deeply about Values, they are actually something you can’t put a value on. You realIy can’t monetize them. They are priceless. However you can see the damage it causes when values, and the trust that they until, are broken.

Today I found out that a colleague of mine, someone I had worked with for over 5 years and who was treated like a member of my family, who I deliberately took interest in his well being and development, had been pilfering money from me for many years. It’s difficult to express how I feel. During this period, I have suspected the wrong people, taken uninformed decisions, had restless moments and now, a part of me has to heal so i don’t take biased decisions on other people, based on this unfortunate incident.

It’s not about the money, it’s about the violation of trust, the intrusion, the misinformation and harm it has caused other people. But, most importantly, it’s also the damage it has caused my ex-colleague, for the rest of his life. What will he tell his family tonight when he gets home and no longer has a job? What was he doing in a Police Station? Why is he going to find it extraordinarily hard to find a similar role, in what is set to be the most prolonged economic downturn of recent history? He is no longer free, he is excluded from society due to lack of job and lack of prospects. Life will no longer be simple for him, his transparency will be doubted, and he is no longer part of the tribe.

Trust is hard to build not only in one-on-one scenarios like the one above, but also with any customer-client relationship — even if it is at a corporate level. Trust is even harder to maintain, as the customer continues to hold high expectations of services they are purchasing. Is the case of me and my ex-colleague any different to me and my relationship with, say Amazon? Amazon, like my ex-colleague, holds a lot of information on me, so they both really know me and have hundreds, if not thousands of data points about me and my habits, and can therefore anticipate my needs and likely what my next moves will be.

We tend to trust those with access to us, either in-person or via an algorithm, to make the best decisions based on the data points they have available to them. In much the same way Amazon has previously stolen my data in an attempt to push me to buy things I don’t want [making the wrong decisions on my behalf] my ex-colleague stole money from me [making the wrong decision on my behalf]. Due to some egregious errors in decision making, both of them have eroded trust in the service that they deliver. One is corporate, the other is blue collar. Both sting in different ways.

I share this story so we can reflect on our personal values, the values of Sparkle and what happens when we break that trust with our stakeholders that we have communicated is the foundation of our platform. Values are everything. Values are who we are.

Happy Sallah…… Stay Sparkling

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