Marcos Aguiar, Ulrich Pidun, Santino Lacanna, Niklas Knust, and Francois Candelon
Trust, we instinctively realize, is a precious quality that binds relationships, and nowhere more so than in business ecosystems. It’s foundational, but also fragile because all the participants in an ecosystem must learn to work with, and rely on, each other, knowing that no external force compels them to do so. Mutual trust, as much as mutual interest, binds business ecosystems.
Yet few business leaders focus on fostering trust when they create and orchestrate ecosystems. Instead of systematically and specifically incorporating trust into the fabric of their ecosystems, most operate under the assumption that trust will automatically grow over time. However, trust is difficult to build—and easy to erode. When it is neglected, trust withers and distrust blooms, dooming ecosystems to failure.
Data shows that trust-related issues are a major cause of ecosystem failure. The BCG Henderson Institute (BHI) recently conducted one of the first global research projects focused on the role of trust in business ecosystems. (See the sidebar, “Research Methodology.”) Our analysis found that trust was a proximate factor—albeit not necessarily the root cause—in the failure of 57 of the 110 unsuccessful ecosystems that we studied. Full Article