As I was following media coverage of the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in Banking and Financial Services this week, I couldn’t help but recall my own experience working for two of the big four banks in senior corporate affairs roles.
Australia’s economic prosperity was born off the back of farming. We live on the smallest and driest continent on the planet (apart from Antarctica). Australia has only three people per square kilometre, making us the 7th least populated nation, our land is a vast and challenging place for agriculture.
A reputation is an animal that you create; you never quite have complete control over it, but you can influence its shape and direction. Most people are full of great stories about businesses with bad reputations, they’ll even launch into tirades about catastrophic environmental damage, human rights violations, financial disasters or even advertising brain farts.
We are witnessing the balancing act between performance and values on the front page of our newspapers every day. The demand for returns and increasing performance has led to bad decision making in our banks where people have shelved values and ethical behaviour and taken short cuts to boost performance.
The #TimesUp campaign has demonstrated how quickly things can change. What today appears impregnable and immutable can, in a heartbeat, be left exposed, discredited and abandoned. There are lessons in this for Australian listed companies.
The current standoff between Rugby Australia, its superstar player Israel Folau and Qantas over Folau’s views on homosexuality poses a fascinating PR and moral dilemma: should an organisation try to gag the private views of an employee on contentious issues if they undermine a commercial relationship?
The unedifying ball-tampering crisis engulfing the Australian cricket team and its captain Steve Smith has placed the spotlight squarely on the response by the sport’s governing body, Cricket Australia.
People tend to focus on reputation when things go bad rather than considering why your reputation matters when things are good. Research has proven that customers like to buy from companies that have a good reputation.
All to often we read stories of companies that publish overly positive projections. Or, they fail to inform the market of the negatives that can impact their earnings. We understand the urge to paint the brightest picture but at what cost?
People either love or hate Donald Trump. But all are confused as to how he still garners support. The political elite and the mainstream media have been throwing everything they can at his administration.
Interesting view towards establishing a Federal ICAC being expressed by federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today. He believes that a Federal ICAC would help fix the image of politicians and help rid the public perception that they are only in it for themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The CBA has its fair share of reputation issues over the last few years and no doubt there were those that were looking and hoping that the Board would select some outside new blood to take a fresh broom approach to the bank.
If there’s one early lesson to emerge from the management of the Dreamworld theme park crisis by its owner, Ardent Leisure, it’s that companies must be seen to be in charge of their own crisis.