Saturday, 7 February 2015

Trust and independent consulting

I've been thinking quite a bit about trust this week.  Firstly it's been coming up at a couple of conferences I've been attending virtually eg at the HR Directors Business Summit helping the Red Arrows to work as a team, but more substantially at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris as the main basis of the collaborative relationships we are trying to create.

Plus of course I've been blogging on trust following my presentation at the HRPA conference a few weeks ago including the recent Edelman Trust Barometer results.  I mentioned that trust in Canada has plummeted this year but it's fallen all around the world.  Again.

And I've been thinking about trust in the context of my own business.  Next year will be my tenth year as an independent consultant and portfolio worker.  So I was interested in the RSA's conference on self employment this week.  Speakers and tweeters at this event expressed some concern about the proportion of people working on their own for low pay levels because they've been squeezed out of the main economy, and because in general these people don't seem to invest much in their own development.

For me, I'm doing pretty well these days and am certainly investing more in my own development than any of my previous employers ever did.  My main issues tend to be things like lack of IT support when things go wrong.  Oh, and doing my own accounting, though that's my own (dumb) choice I suppose.

And the fact that my whole business relies on trust.  I try to contract with my clients carefully - in terms of really understanding what we need to achieve together and how they want to work with me.  This helps me ensure I deliver what my clients need.  I tend not to use legal contracts unless my clients need them as I don't think they actually deal with what is normally important.  And depending upon where my client is around the world, I think taking action if things go wrong can be more trouble than it's worth.  Plus I prefer to focus on making things go right than worry about what will happen if they don't.

However that can be a problem on the small number of occasions that you deal with someone who wants to take advantage.  So the real point of this post is just to flag up two training providers you don't want to put your trust in:

Mark Maritz and and Adele Olivier  
Previously trading as Vital Training / Ripple Training 
South Africa

Szilvia Kadar, Albert Harris,  Matthew Johnson, Sean Martin, Alexander (Sanyi) Daxo and Rudolph Halasz
United Market Events / UMI Events 
Based in Hungary and Slovakia but still delivering conferences and training in the UK and Spain

Neither of these providers do what they say they are going to do i.e. pay in full for services which have been provided.  It could be worse of course - at least they don't threaten 80 year old women.  That's the case with this plumber who also did shoddy work for us which we've had to take down, stole parts he had bought for us and disappeared with some money we'd prepaid him:

Jake O'Keefe
JKI Services (plumbing) 

Not too bad for nearly ten years experience I suppose and I'd still rather trust people and take the hit when I find that trust isn't deserved, that not to trust people to begin with.  But I can see what people increasingly find it difficult to trust as well.

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