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Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  20 reviews
For decades, alarms have sounded about declining engagement. Yet companies continue to struggle with toxic cultures, and the low productivity and unhappiness that go with them

Why is “culture” so difficult to improve? What makes so many good employees check out? Neuroscientist Paul Zak shows that innate brain functions hold the answers. It all boils down to trust.

When someo
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by AMACOM
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Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Phenomenal book. Brought the science in to explain the basis of the human behavior.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trust is a key element of a company being successful and prospering. In this book the neuroscientist author shows how a culture-shift and move towards a more trustworthy form of operations can yield dividends for a company.

The core concept can be quite simple, even if the transformation process may be difficult for many. Yet it may be essential as the benefits can aid the company internally with better-engaged employees, as well as hitting the bottom-line with customers voting with their wallets
Jeff McKee
Feb 22, 2022 rated it really liked it
Overall not awful. I think the discussion post book made this one a four star for me. Heads up, his love for acronyms is unmatched and The last chapter is basically a big flex on his part

Fav quote: careers produce joy; jobs seldom do.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Revolutionary research with affordable practical applications and great benefits!
The work of 20 years of arduous research by Paul J Zack, who shares us in this book, is astonishing and of great value. The proposal to build a culture of trust has the potential to make a significant difference to the quality of life of employees and the growth of organizations. Early experiments identified the promoters and inhibitors of the hormone oxytocin and its association with trustworthiness.
Subsequently, h
I bought Zak’s Trust Factor after having read and been impressed by http://www.clomedia.com/2017/02/09/neuroscience-building-trust-cultures and http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fcpb0000076 (which you can find elsewhere without having to buy it). For my money, the more academic treatises are better – great overview of the role of brain chemicals in building trust, and of the role of high trust organizations in driving performance and employee purpose. If you want a popularized book ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Joy=Trust x Purpose is the author's premise in this book.

It's my opinion that his definition of purpose is simplistic and overgeneralizes rationale for how to inspire others by attempting to "connect" people's feelings to company vision.

Purpose is much more nuanced and grounded in what an individual feels about why THEY do what they do. I suspect purpose is also highly influenced by where someone is within adult development scale, how financially secure they feel, how tolerant they are of unce
Fred Cheyunski
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Brain Science and Organization - My attraction to this book grew out of my previous work with ‘trust’ and ‘high performance organizations (e.g. see reviews of Johansen and Sibbet’s Leading Business Teams: How Teams Can Use Technology and Group Process Tools to Enhance Performance (Addison-wesley Series on Organization Development) , Kates and Galbraith’s Designing Your Organization: Using the STAR Model to Solve 5 Critical Design Challenges , and O’Toole and Lawler’s The New American Workplace: ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book didn't really work for me. I found it hard to remember his jargon through the book as some of his names for things were not intuitive. I didn't really understand the percentages he quoted either, since they did not sum to 100%. Also some of his examples of companies doing good things seemed contradictory to some of his other points. For example where he mentioned a company which sends a corporate gift to all its employees, it is neither personal nor time-related to their achievements. ...more
Alejandro Cabral
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, backed with studies and data that proves Culture matters in organizations

I loved the concept of the book, it is plagued with examples and stats that point to one fact: when employees trust their employers and are challenged enough (one could say as long as they live in a semi-constant flow state), good things happen...and this is the first time someone actually measures it. Science applied to what has always been the realm of gurus. Very powerful.

The one thing I personally was ok wit
Feb 22, 2022 rated it liked it
Trust Factor was everything you could expect in a workplace help book. It had some really good points with some solid data applicable to anyone who has ever worked with other people; it also had entire chapters just dedicated to trying to spell out the "easily remembered" OXYTOCIN. The book felt more dedicated to supporting the structure of the message rather than supporting the message with the structure.
A good read overall, but it could definitely use with some trimming and consolidating. Som
Peter Blok
Trust is number one

Although Zak is slightly dogmatic in his approach and leaves little room for questions or doubt, the strong element of his argument is that workers need autonomy in their work. This is confirmed by many academics. He is not very critical about tech giants like Google and Linkedin who are first of all collecting data for their own benefit and not so much to please their users.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book makes a strong case for trust as the foundation of a productive work culture. I would love a second book which explores experiments in improving the level of trust in organizations. My only wish is that the non-profit and government sectors were covered more thoroughly, but I can see that it is the nature of which organizations engage with the author’s center.
Daniël Boerstra
Jan 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Want to get insights on how to change your company culture in a high-performance high-trust one? Just read this book and you are very well equipped why certain things need to be done to make sure the right chemical release is connected in our brains.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting info re: high performance cultures
Grazyna Nawrocka
Although I agree with ideas in this book, it still seems to me slightly idealistic. I liked it, and would recommend reading it to anybody.
Wai-kit Ng
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well researched book. Made a lot of sense. Although the terms are slightly different, but it collaborated well with Drive by Daniel Pink. Learned a lot and have many ideas.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I had to read this book for a class, and found it to be interesting, but I remain skeptical about the "science". As a relatively short book, I recommend it for anyone interested in reading a wide range of publications on leadership and management. However, the theory that O-X-Y-T-O-C-I-N leadership tools are rooted in science is not completely convincing. The true strength of Trust Factor lies in its vast amount of anecdotal information and concrete action items that can be implemented to improv ...more
Simon Rycraft
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dr Zak’s research into the science behind the emotion of trust is both ground breaking and critical to so many personal and professional interactions this book is a must read!
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PAUL J. ZAK, PH.D. is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology, and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He was part of the team of scientists that first made the connection between oxytocin and trust—and his TED talk on the topic has received over a million views. He has appeared on CNN, Fox Business, Dr. Phil, Good Morning Amer ...more

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