PwC US’ Trust Leadership Institute Equips Business Leaders with the Trust-Based Skills Needed to Operate in a Complex World

Nov. 10, 2021 - Today PwC US commenced the PwC Trust Leadership Institute, aiming to equip more than 10,000 of today and tomorrow’s C-suite, business executives and corporate director leaders with the skills to operate their companies in ways that earn trust, deliver sustainable outcomes and positively impact business and society.

“Leading a business in 2021 is more challenging than it has ever been before, and the world is only going to continue to grow more complex,” said Tim Ryan, PwC's US Chair and Senior Partner. “Stakeholders’ priorities can shift faster than most companies are equipped to scale change — yet we need to continue working to show up for our stakeholders and society in bigger and better ways. As complex as the issues may be, trust is the currency that will enable businesses to be successful now and in the future.” 

The PwC Trust Leadership Institute was unveiled earlier in 2021 as part of PwC’s revolutionary new strategy, The New Equation. This immersive experience is also a key element of Tomorrow Takes Trust, the US firm’s new, groundbreaking three-year, $300 million commitment to embed trust-based principles into the core of today’s and tomorrow’s businesses.

The PwC Trust Leadership Institute will bring together a diverse set of leaders to assess the tangible value of trust in organizations, practice solving trust dilemmas across the enterprise and develop scenario plans to tackle critical moments with the potential to build or erode trust.

Research shows that meeting the complex needs of a broad array of stakeholders is key to growing trust

Business is a highly trusted institution in our society — but the world is fundamentally changing as business executives face increasingly complex issues, including new macro challenges like political polarization, cyber hacks, climate risk, retraction in globalization, workforce transformation and a shift from primarily serving shareholders to serving a broad range of stakeholders. This represents both a great opportunity and a tremendous responsibility for businesses.

The Complexity of Trust: PwC’s Trust in US Business Survey revealed that trust is multi-dimensional, not linear; it doesn’t simply grow over time, it evolves through many facets. As stakeholder priorities grow and change, this complex nature of trust puts pressure on business leaders to consider and prioritize the needs of many and constantly shift how they meet and manage stakeholder expectations. In fact, 43% of business leaders cite varying stakeholder expectations as the top challenge in building company trust. 

The Trust Leadership Institute is an immersive experience designed for a diverse set of leaders

The first session of the PwC Trust Leadership Institute includes more than 200 leaders from Fortune 1000, private equity and large private companies. With diversity, equity and inclusion being fundamental to the culture of the Trust Leadership Institute, it aspires to dedicate at least 50 percent of the targeted 10,000 seats to women and/or racially/ethnically diverse executives. The inaugural class has exceeded this goal. 

These leaders will explore nine learning tracks that are aligned with the most pressing issues facing business leaders today, spanning across different industries and topics. The virtual, on-demand and in-person learning will help deepen understanding of the core elements of trust and the interdependencies within the evolving stakeholder landscape.

The learning tracks are constructed in collaboration with some of the top minds focused on trust, including executives and public figures with deep experience in the art and science of building trust across business, media, academia and government.

These tracks include: 

  • Trust in data and technology
  • Cybersecurity and privacy
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Building a culture of transparency
  • Managing sustainable value chains
  • Empowering economic mobility
  • The new workforce contract
  • Policy in action
  • Building trust in a multi-stakeholder environment

The PwC Trust Leadership Institute is also a forum for leaders to come together to brainstorm, test ideas and problem-solve society’s biggest issues. The inaugural cohort represents some of the largest organizations across industries, including financial services, technology, media and telecom, consumer markets, energy, utilities and mining, industrial products and health. The program will conclude with an in-person capstone event, which will include discussions around corporate governance and managing interdependencies. 

The Trust Leadership Institute commences with a virtual cornerstone event

The inaugural Trust Leadership Institute convenes virtually November 10–11. Leaders will immediately immerse into the total experience: talking about why trust is so important, exploring all the ways the landscape has changed, connecting with peers within their cohort to build relationships and jumping right into a case study to learn and build skills together.

Leaders will hear from marquee keynote speakers, including Tim Ryan, US Chair and Senior Partner, PwC, Sandra Sucher, Harvard Business School Professor and author of The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, and Regain It, Paula Goldman, Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, Salesforce, and Arthur Blank, Co-Founder, The Home Depot, among others.

The cornerstone event will be followed by participants exploring trust-based topics across nine virtual interdependent learning tracks over a four-month period. An in-person capstone closing event will be held in March 2022. 

About PwC

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Jordana Strosberg

Jordana Strosberg

US Executive Leadership Communications, Chair Communications, CEO Survey, PwC US

Tel: +1 (313) 608 4252

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