Tag Archives: innovation

Trust & Innovation – Partners or Enemies?

by Stephanie Wilcox

In our role as advisors, we address both an organizational issue and its impact on people within the organization.  As we become more successful in solving problems for our clients, and they in turn become comfortable with our capabilities, our role transitions from advisor to trusted advisor.  Since this familiarity with a company and its methodologies garners trust, how can companies ensure that trust built on familiarity does not reduce the frequency of use of pioneering or innovative techniques?

Simply put, is there an inverse relationship between trust and innovation, and if so, how can an organization ensure that trust does not translate to stagnation in services?

At Evans Incorporated, one of our three pillars of success is healthy innovation.  One way we achieve healthy innovation is by finding ways to mitigate the potential risk of the conflict between trust and innovation.  We achieve this end through methods such as:

  1. 1. Evaluating the state of the relationship – ask yourself if it is strong enough to endure should an innovative approach not wholly succeed.
  2. 2. Showing clients how similar innovations have worked in the past – build trust in an approach by linking it to a story of success and indicate what your or your firm’s role was in that story.
  3. 3. Implementing the approach in “safe mode”  – use it on test groups, implement it in phases,  and manage risks along the way.
  4. 4. Communicating and listening even more than you would with a proven approach – make sure that the client fully understands the risks, and acts as a true partner in the decision-making and implementation plan. Most importantly though, ensure that the client connects emotionally to the success of the project.


What have you used in your life or work to mitigate the potential risk of losing trust by trying something new?