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The danger for business from CEDA’s latest research

I am very big fan of the work that CEDA (Committee for the Economic Development of Australia) does and their latest research is no exception. 

CEDA has released the results of its first nationwide poll of Australian business, to better understand community expectations of business; and the challenges facing business leaders. CEDA’s inaugural “Company Pulse” is a nationwide survey of the general public and business leaders that includes more than 3000 people.

Overall, the results show the community expects a broad contribution from business including on social and environmental issues. Key results included:

  • More than 70 per cent of the general public agreed that large companies should place equal importance on economic, environmental and social performance; and
  • More than three-quarters of survey respondents supported business leaders speaking out on issues of national importance, including social and environmental issues.

 “While there has been much debate on the appropriateness of corporate leaders speaking on issues outside their core business, it is clear from these results the community consider this to be acceptable.” CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento 

The danger of course is that regardless of how commendable such social causes may be, many tend to be divisive amongst the community.  

My warning to business is that they should choose carefully what cause to weigh in on or risk losing market share. The reality is that many (or some) of their customers may have a differing view and since that business has chosen to make it an issue they may now support another business who has their view or are silent on the issue. The question is ..... who can afford to lose any customers these days.

Sometimes respectful silence can be the most sensible play.

The CEDA research is excellent and thought provoking.  If you get the time access it here

 

 

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