Every organisational department within the company divides the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’ ‘Us’: our department: insiders, members, colleagues. ‘Them’: other departments: our customers, suppliers, contractors. ‘Us’ is where trust should flourish. That’s where loyalty lies. The more trust the merrier it is.
As for ‘them’, they should be always treated with suspicion, even only because they are not ‘us’. We have contracts, we have law, we have security. We have revenge. We have hate. We have to keep ‘them’ behave.
Companies reap significant benefits if they can establish external trust-based relationships with customers and suppliers. However, the company cannot be truly trustworthy if there is a lack of trust inside it. If their internal organisations fight each other.
It is impossible to develop an external truly trust-based relationship if backstabbing is rife between departments. There is no magical interface that will separate war-torn inside of the company from its desired public image. Trustworthiness transcends organisations.
If you think that your company is damaged by inter-departmental warfare, think Trust Governance. Trust Governance provides guidelines how to establish and maintain such a trust. Internal and external trust does not have to be of the same kind or of the same intensity, but it has to exist. It should permeate the company.