Trust is at the heart of a collaborative innovation capability. Without a foundation of trust, collaborative alliances can neither be built nor sustained. Using a two-stage qualitative research method, we discovered that managers understand neither the nature of trust nor the dynamics of trust building. To help alleviate these knowledge gaps, we herein develop a definition of collaborative trust, describe a trust maturity framework, and discuss the competitive power of trust. We conclude by presenting a dynamic systems model that elaborates on the process of building trust to improve collaboration, innovation, and competitive performance.