The price paid for discounting the social and political impact of your decisions is going to be high.

Behind the Mind Map and the next three years of LNP stewardship.

Checkmate Analytics talks about the four pillars underpinning organisational strategy in the 21st century and one of those pillars is the need to size up the social impact of strategic plans. The Mind Map is a device which enables us to get a handle on how the people are seeing things, a kind of collective consciousness more or less; and what an organisation needs to be sensitive to when dealing with the public as well as with government and the media.

We already see that business in the 21st century has not been given a social licence for many of the actions it may intend to take and as a consequence, is suffering considerable pushback.  In a recent article on coal seam gas published on this site from the Institute for 21st Century Thinking, it states…

 “failure to take into account the social impact of business decisions is likely to cause serious roadblocks for business according to a recent report by business services group KPMG  (The Australian, Business p19, Sept 16, 2013). The report noted that a social licence to operate differs from a government licence to operate (i.e. regulatory compliance). One is handed out by the government and the other by community stakeholders.

Billions of dollars of future investment are at stake if industry fails to obtain a social licence for its program whether it happens to be mining, banking, property development , pharmaceuticals, agricultural practices or manufacturing to cite just a few. It is notable the NSW Dept. of Planning & Infrastructure has taken great pains to recognise the role of the community in its recently released draft planning legislation for NSW including legally codifying the role of the community in decision making affecting the community.

With that in mind, our recent survey results detect a wave of public interest and concern moving across the economic and social landscape. Based on the findings of a pre-election survey (June–July 2013) carried out by Australian Opinion Research for Checkmate Analytics, the public does not feel at all trusting towards government. The survey involved responses from a representative national cross section of 5360 Australians 18 years and over and recorded the following somewhat alarming findings:

  • 65% believe that local markets are springing up around the suburbs in many western cities as people react against the takeover of the food chain by major supermarkets.
  • Of some concern to politicians must also be the finding that 75% of people believe that most politicians are more concerned with corporate interests than they are with the people who elected them and when it comes to mining…
  • Only 16% believe that the government will do the right thing by the people as far as coal seam gas is concerned.
  • Perhaps it is not surprising then that 79% of people also believe that people generally are feeling more and more powerless against big corporations and special interests groups which may also explain why…
  • And while 62% believe some well-known politicians take their orders from corporations, almost the same percentage (61%) believe that some well-known politicians take their orders from the unions.
  • 67% of those surveyed believe that doctors are frequently influenced by the marketing and PR from drug companies to recommend drugs as the best solution to a problem a patient reports.
  • And 46% believe that “Big Pharma” is corrupt and has far too much influence over the medical profession.
  • Only 16% of people believe that there is absolutely no risk attached to GMO foods and …
  • Finally, more than 50% of those surveyed believe that the central banks of the world are a corrupt cabal serving only the interests of their owners, the major private banks (53%), which dovetails with a belief by 41% that the world is heading for a financial collapse in the next couple of years (compared with 32% who don’t believe this will happen).

Today in the Australian (October 23, 2013, Janet Albrechtson argued that Tony Abbott has a massive opportunity to right the ship by pushing the reset button on entitlements. However, from the data we have presented here, there is clearly a need for a far more comprehensive rethink on the way things are run across the board.

True, the findings are based on the public consciousness in the final months leading to the September 2013 election of the Liberal National coalition. Nevertheless, as a sobering reflection on the consequences of betraying the trust of the electorate, after an amazing 21% swing to the NSW Liberals in the last state elections just 18 months or so ago, the seat of Miranda swung back even more dramatically to Labor last weekend. That happened in the space of 18 months for whatever the reasons may have been.

More to the point however, is what will we be saying about the Abbott government three or even six years from now and whether the opportunities afforded by a major victory are taken?

[1] Australian Opinion Research is a 14 year veteran of online surveys in Australia and internationally and the first large scale online survey operator in Australia. The company regularly reports on social, political and business research and boasts a representative database of over 100,000 Australians together with access to more than one million additional survey respondents.


Copyright 2013 Checkmate Analytics

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