12th October 2011
On 12 October 2011, ReputationInc hosted a breakfast seminar on 'The Transformative Role of Reputation Foresight for the Corporate and Public Affairs Function'. Alongside a client leading government affairs for a global financial services company, ReputationInc described how thinking systematically and intelligently about the future allowed the function to create genuine business value. The event was well attended, with over 50 participants from a variety of sectors ranging from finance to energy extractives. The presentation and subsequent discussion raised a number of key issues for consideration:
The Importance of Reputation Foresight
A growing number of external drivers are shaping business environments across different industries and sectors. These range from increasing regulatory uncertainty and NGO scrutiny to the rise of social media and changing stakeholder expectations. In this complex, uncertain environment, there is an acute need for corporate and public affairs functions to think beyond their annual or biannual planning cycles in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Being a forward thinking function enables:
- Spotting and exploiting new trends
- Being prepared for all eventualities
- Proactively influencing future outcomes
- Securing competitive advantage and driving business value
- Foresight's Transformative Role for the Function
At the heart of this imperative lies the need to change perceptions, that are still held in some quarters, of corporate and public affairs functions as mere appendages to an organisation. Reputation foresight can enable this transition.
This means a fundamental shift from:
- Disparate, silo-ed information to integrated insights and foresight
- Reactive responses to spotting and proactively responding to weak signals
- Managing risks and issues to identifying emerging trends and seizing opportunities
- Short term fire fighting to long term strategic planning
- Ad hoc engagement to constructive engagement and interventions
This provides a genuine opportunity for the function to secure its seat at the business strategy and decision making table, and to demonstrate real commercial value through an enhanced, insights-driven and forward-looking purpose and contribution.