i’ve been super curious about hope for a while now, it’s hard not to be at a time when so many of us are so full of dread.
recently i turned to my friends, family, and colleagues and asked them how they cultivate hope. i received a variety of beautiful answers. there were themes — mindfulness, self-care, connection. the insights so generously offered suggested that, for most of us, when we feel full of dread we cultivate hope by taking small actions towards better.
so, how does that play out for business, or for a nation?
the edelman trust barometer illuminates how trust and hope have a direct relationship on each other. as trust wanes, hope diminishes with it. They’re intertwined.
As an example, while the u.s. cannon-balled to the bottom of the trust index in 2017, countries like india rose to the top. why? The short answer is that the population of the United States does not trust its institutions, while India trusts that institutions are taking actions towards a better future, even while believing more needs to be done. “Respondents believe companies must do more – treat their employees well, offer better products and services, place customers ahead of profits and pay more attention to customer needs and feedback. Companies must be transparent in their practices and take responsible action in the face of crises. This weaves in with the overall trust conferred upon the government – the need to do the right thing for a better future.”
Currently in the U.S., business is taking up the mantle of cultivating hope in a provisional partnership with consumers. According to Edelman, 50 percent of people now “buy on belief.” “They will buy your brand, switch from it, avoid it and — at the extreme — boycott it over your stance on a controversial or social issue. This is the new normal for belief-driven consumers.”