Trusted Retail Innovation Insights

Professor Michael Rosemann

Ray Merlano from Data#3, General Manager Queensland, recently attended Professor Michael Rosemann’s launch of Trusted Retail Innovation research. Here’s a quick overview of some of the key take-outs.

The business landscape has drastically evolved in recent years and COVID-19 has amplified this further. The importance and value of trust – business trust and customer trust, is now given more and more consideration.

This year, QUT in partnership with Cisco and others, have conducted research with leading retail brands including Walmart, Australia Post, 7Eleven, BCF and Coles, identifying a contemporary lens for how retailers, in particular, can compete on trust.

Ray was interested in this and its application to Data#3 and hence, QUTeX invited Michael and Ray to have a ‘fireside’ conversation to discuss how retail and technology businesses thrive in a trust-intensive environment? How are you best to design your teams and organisations for trust management? And what do these new sources of trust in technology unlock for organisations?

Michael started by elaborating on the challenge to manage trust directly. Similar to profit, which is impacted by either cutting cost or increasing revenue, trust also needs to be decomposed into two areas of attention, decreasing uncertainty or increasing confidence.

Take a listen…

QUTeX works with many organisations like Data#3 in building capability of leaders to embrace strategic opportunities and market differentiators like trust, and empower workforces to think and do differently.

Contact us now to explore how QUT’s one-day course ‘The Management of Trust’ can help your organisations to compete on trust and to create new forms to strengthen customer advocacy, retention and engagement. We can run this in-house (at your premises or ours) for your organisations or a team.

QUTeX customised executive education


Ray: Today we have with us Michael Roseman. He’s the Director of the Centre for Future Enterprise at QUT.   I’ve been lucky enough to hear you Michael, recently I got to hear about what you talked about business trust and retail trust.

Michael: Trust is how to manage. It’s a bit like profit. We don’t manage profit directly; we cut costs or increase revenue. I think about trust as you either reduce uncertainty or you increase confidence.  If I want to talk you into bungee jumping and you don’t trust me, I can make bungee jumping safer and it’s reducing uncertainty or I could say, “we didn’t have an accident for the last 10,000 days, your best friends like bungee jumping, or people like you with a back problem jumped as well without any damage”.

In classical retail, we have a ranking system. If you want to take your wife for dinner you might go to TripAdvisor and take her to the highest-ranked restaurant. You don’t change the restaurant; you just find the trusted restaurant by looking at the majority.

In America, you might go to and you see how other patients have been treated. So, I often encourage organisations like yours to try to work out where would a customer, trust another customer more than you?

At Walmart, you can buy clothes, but you don’t ask the shopping assistant for what he or she thinks. At that moment in time, there’s an app and you can bring your trusted friends into the conversation. And in those two moments, it’s a moment of trust my friends would say that suits you or not. Their opinion matters more than the sales kid outside the fitting room. So, Walmart understood that trust is shifting from trusting the provider to the edges. So, working all with peer-to-peer conversations might be more useful than a conversation with a salesperson.

So initially stressful, for someone in sales, it might be highly rewarding ultimately because we activate one more source of trust.

Ray: Seventeen / eighteen months we’ve been remote, so now there’s a little bit of that build up wanting them to get really excited to get out and get it back out with the customers thinking of future and enterprise, what can you give us more insight on?

Michael: First of all, hybrid is here to stay. I don’t think it’s black and white, say COVID-Man – we work from home and now we are back in the office. Digital is all about new options. So, if you are a salesperson you need to work out when is a zoom conversation for both parties more effective, quicker, and when do I need face to face.

The challenges in an online digital world the whole world could compete with you. If we’re not good enough our students get their content from anywhere in the world.  As long as they came to Gardens Point, we didn’t have that pressure. So, what is exciting, and I highlight again if you have a new solution the whole word could be your customer. If we are very good and trust desired, we are the only place in the world where trust professionals could be educated, the whole world becomes our customer base. But, the whole world could also become more competitive. So the future would have pros and cons. Those who were comfortable with uncertainties will win this race.

Ray: Michael, thank you. It was a great update and I appreciate all the insights and feedback. Folks hope you enjoy that. I think you’re hearing that we need to embrace uncertainty, but the future is rich with opportunities.

Thank you


Kristy Hammond is a Corporate Partnership Manager for QUTeX. She is passionate about authentic leadership, corporate learning and development, strategic business development and ultimately, organisational success. As a commercially astute business leader and coach, her focus is on helping organisations achieve success, through providing strategic L&D solutions to help improve their capability, productivity and organisational development. Kristy has a breadth of strategic business experience in running businesses, leading successful large teams and creating and delivering on large offshore learning projects, primarily in the education and media industries.

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