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What is the #1 Competitive Advantage in 2024?

High trust is the #1 Competitive Advantage in 2024
High trust is the #1 Competitive Advantage in 2024

Contrary to popular belief, the number one competitive advantage in 2024 is not Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s also not a nice smile, although that helps. Recent Deloitte and PwC studies show that over 91 percent of customers buy on trust, and organizations with high trust drive 88 percent more customer loyalty. Obviously, the number one competitive advantage for any firm is directly related to people. More specifically, high trust people.

On the flip side, 71 percent of customers don’t trust most companies and the Gallup State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report says almost 80 percent workers don’t trust employers and are therefore disengaged. Nearly 60 percent are Quiet Quitting and over 18 percent are taking actions that directly harm employers. It’s hard to win a game, let alone a competitive Super Bowl, when your team is sitting on the bench. How can we turn this around?

Documented studies from Gallup, Deloitte, the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), Edelman, LinkedIn, and several neuroscientists validate some eye-opening facts. If we can turn low trust people into high trust professionals, we can drive:

  • 400 percent more business performance

  • 211 percent more retention

  • 209 percent more engagement

  • 106 percent more energy

  • 79 percent more productivity

  • 74 percent less stress

  • 40 percent less burnout

Higher engagement, according to Gallup, drives 20 percent more revenue and profit. And let’s not forget that most customers buy on trust, and Deloitte says we get almost 90 percent more customer loyalty.

Peter Drucker once said, “You can't improve what you don't measure.” Several expensive consulting firms claim to have the answer to improving organizational trust, but none of them have a way to measure it. Dr. German Fresco, a PhD neuroscientist and Chief Science Officer for RemotelyMe says, “Trust is directly related to a brain chemical called oxytocin. If it’s high, we trust. If not, we don’t. Stress increases cortisol and norepinephrine, which both decrease oxytocin. If your brain chemicals are out of balance, that will also decrease oxytocin, and therefore your ability to trust and be trustworthy.”

Virtually every business uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. We have metrics for sales, marketing, customer service, and human resources to name a few. We may also have KPIs for employee engagement and recruiting, but if so, are we missing the most important one? Given the dramatic increases in almost everything, shouldn’t we also have an employee trust KPI?

Obviously, but how can we measure oxytocin? We certainly don’t want to make our workers pee in a cup or take a blood test. Fortunately, one firm can do this with a short, 9-minute assessment. Unlike others that use only text, which neuroscientists say only assesses ten percent of your brain, RemotelyMe uses cutting-edge visual neuroscience that offers twice the validity (93 percent) and twice the completion rates (97 percent) compared to others. They also measure nine additional soft skills that according to Harvard, SHRM, LinkedIn, and others account for around 90 percent of job success. Once you have a baseline for John Doe, you can use a handy app to turn him into a high trust professional with rock star soft skills in only ten weeks. Pretty cool.

Trust is also a huge competitive advantage. Marketing execs should be salivating at this. Again, 91 percent of customers buy on trust. Imagine a campaign where you tout having certified High Trust Professionals and your competitors don’t. Who can you trust, them or us? Our employees are certified and theirs are not.   

RemotelyMe’s Workforce Experience (WX) Trust Transformation program certifies individuals as High Trust Accredited Professionals (HITAP) by using visual neuroscience and a new learning framework called 4STORY to deliver 20-minute informative and entertaining courses that improve trust and soft skill scores (which can make you far more attractive to employers). The 4MAT system has been widely used in educational circles to personalize teaching curriculums for various learner types, but it’s now outdated and does not use modern neuroscience. The 4STORY framework aligns with Simon Sinek’s Start With Why approach and uses unique neuroscience storytelling that the London Business School says can drive 1400 percent more retention.

The RemotelyMe HITAP app personalizes learning experiences based on neuroscience profile types and can also recommend third-party courses from LinkedIn Learning or Udemy. You can also upload SCORM format courses into your own Learning Management System (LMS). Leadership and business coaching courses feature iconic leaders such as a former Deputy Secretary of Defense, NASA CEO, four-star generals and admirals, top CEOs, Navy SEALs, etc. Best of all, science and leadership research from several award-winning books, including two of mine, underscore the curriculum.

What’s the number one competitive advantage any organization can have in 2024? It’s trust. High trust is the #1 Competitive Advantage in 2024. If you’re not measuring and improving this KPI, you risk losing to competitors that are.

William Craig Reed is the New York Times bestselling author of The 7 Secrets of Neuron Leadership and Start With Who, that Ken Blanchard, co-author of The New One Minute Manager says is “thought provoking” and a Workday VP says is “the next gen beyond Start With Why and The Challenger Sale.”


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