I have just had a fantastic conversation with Mike Jennings chairman of Jennings of Garsington Ltd and also one of the mentors at Oxford Business Mentors.

Mike has recently written a blog called Trust or Control which explains a great deal about his ethos.

Mike is obviously passionate about values, ethics, trust and even love in the business world and it is an approach that has clearly worked very successfully for his own business.

Jennings of Garsington provides business accommodation from business units to serviced offices, virtual offices and meeting rooms, for small and medium sized businesses in Oxfordshire. The company’s web site starts by saying “We’re a bit different to the average Landlord” and quite clearly they are.

Mutual trust is the key element in the company’s relationships with their tenants and this is immediately evident in a very simple agreement that doesn’t commit the tenant to long term, complex leases. And, as Mike says, it works: most of their tenants have been with them for years even though they only need to give three months notice at any time. They pay their rents on time and look after their premises.  And why indeed wouldn’t they want to reciprocate that trust when they work in pleasant surroundings with an abundance of facilities and a supportive management team? The whole situation is more pleasant and easier for everyone!

Have you thought about Trust in your business? Is there mutual trust with employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders? And if there isn’t, what can you do to build a culture of trust so that business becomes a pleasure and not a chore?