Masterclass: Crisis, what crisis?

by .

Everything you always wanted to know about “trust” but were
afraid to ask….

The “crisis of trust” continues to fascinate leaders and teams. But is “trust” and its relationship to business properly understood? Is there too great a dependency on the soundbites, rather than the substance? Are operational plans sufficiently strategic and robust to address the perceived trust deficit?

This Masterclass has been developed for business, marketing and communications leaders committed to building greater trustworthiness among employees, customers and stakeholders. It digs deeper at the everyday challenges surrounding “trust” in its many dimensions and helps participants identify and develop strategies, tactics and new models of leadership and engagement.

Each session lasts four hours and can be delivered either separately or consecutively over a day and half. The first session is preceded by a group dinner, which includes a provocation from a prominent business/ political/ media figure.

The programme is delivered by award-winning brand reputation and marketing expert, Jan Gooding, and Robert Phillips, author of Trust Me, PR is Dead and advisor to global leaders and organisations.


“Trust” is an outcome, not a message

Over the course of three sessions, participants will learn:

  • How the “trust” word is frequently ill-defined and poorly used/ abused by business & political leaders
  • How, too often, “trust” is deployed as lazy proxy for anything/ everything that has gone wrong
  • How the crisis of trust may in fact mask a crisis of leadership
  • How the long-term data does not support the idea that we can simply “restore trust”. (Many sectors were never that trusted anyway)
  • Why trustworthiness is a more reliable and tangible concept
  • How trustworthiness is measured via honesty, competence, reliability and benevolence
  • How each one of these drivers can have relevant measures and metrics alongside them
  • How these measures can be determined by “wise crowds” of employees/ customers/ stakeholders, to make a leader or organisation more accountable
  • Why, above all, “trust” is an outcome, not a message


Old myths, new models: three sessions

Session One
(preceded by dinner with keynote)

  • Debunking the ‘Trust Myths’
  • The definition of Trustworthiness, and why it is a more useful characteristic
  • Academic confirmation of drivers (honesty, competence, reliability, benevolence)

Session Two

  • A methodology for increasing Trustworthiness
  • Implications for leadership
    (operating principles of activism, participation, accountability, dissent)

Session Three

  • Converting theory into practice
  • Measuring progress



Location: Masterclasses are usually hosted off-site, in a setting relevant to the client team and its aspirations.

Cost: The fee is £20,000 + VAT, including materials, preparatory and follow-up work with the commissioning client. This excludes venue hire and the opening dinner, as appropriate/ applicable. Travel/ accommodation costs beyond the London are also additional to the scope.


About Jan Gooding and Robert Phillips

Jan has enjoyed a marketing career with blue-chip corporates including BT, British Gas, Diageo and Unilever and, latterly, as Group Brand Director at Aviva. In her final role, as Aviva’s first Global Inclusion Director, Jan was responsible for introducing the ground-breaking policy of equal parental leave. She is currently the Chair of LGBT equality charity Stonewall; Chair of PAMCo, the governing body for audience measurement for the published media industry; and President of the Market Research Society, the world’s leading research association. Jan joined “meaningful change” consultancy Jericho Chambers in 2019 and is focussed on Reputation, Trustworthiness & Good Work.

Robert’s expert area is communications, leadership and trust. He conceived Jericho in 2013 after a 25-year, award-winning career at the top of the global communications industry. Robert co-founded legendary consumer brands agency Jackie Cooper PR in 1987 and, having sold the business, went on to become UK and then EMEA Chief Executive of Edelman, the world’s largest Public Relations firm. At Edelman, Robert co-authored the Trust Barometer and chaired the consultancy’s global Public Engagement group. Robert is the author of Citizen Renaissance (2008) and Trust Me PR is Dead (2015) and a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, University of London. He leads major national and global projects on Responsible Tax, the Future of Work, Housing, Transport and the Built Environment.


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