Business behaving badly ... we're no worse than the others

Business leaders often lament the lack of political leadership and community support.  It’s only going to get harder.  WA Premier Colin Barnett, at LNG 18 – the premier global conference of the LNG industry – offered some advice to the industry: you guys have to do more of the heavy lifting.  It is no longer viable, if it ever was, for industry to expect the politicians to take the lead in the public battles.

And yet the list of examples of decisions which make it nearly impossible for business to win public support continues to grow.  These various decision failures impact three critical stakeholder groups: the community; the suppliers; and employees.  And this has both direct and indirect costs.

Major corporations are not naïve about these issues.  But we need to get much smarter at anticipating and addressing these broader stakeholder issues.    Often these decisions reflect a progressive, cultural failure compounded by hubris and arrogance.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 

We need to ‘inoculate ourselves’ from this cultural detritus.  I suggest three possible 're-calibration' processes

(4 min read)

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The cost of presumptions - international case studies

At their most dangerous presumptions are assumptions that are accepted as a ‘social fact’.  This makes them more dangerous than assumptions.  Assumptions should be explicitly identified and can be tested.  But we remain blind to our own presumptions. 

The risk of presumptions is everywhere around us in the age of disruption, but it exists also in other areas.  Shell lost control of a major project in Russia; Tata had to move the Nano car plant weeks before commissioning.  

Presumptions in both cases turned out to be a very costly.  

What can you do to reduce the unanticipated risk of presumptions?

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