Apparently mining blew the boom ... but who's the greater fool?

The headlines scream at you: major miners blew the boom.  It is true they repeated the patterns of all commodity booms.  But are we guilty of playing Monday morning quarterback?  What might they have done differently?

And what about shareholder value?  When did we lose sight of the value part of the equation?  And who was the greater fool?

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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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