If you’re a C-level executive in Canada, this post is for you.
I’m not going to sugar-coat this: Prime Minister Harper and the CPC got shellacked last Monday. Pundits far and wide are trying to tell us why it happened. Never a big believer in looking back, I’m here to tell you what it all means.
First, engagement is the new apathy. At last count, 68.5% of our 17.6 million eligible voters exercised their constitutional right to vote in this election. That’s some 12 million people, or roughly 1.2 million times the size of the average focus group. Translation: today’s Canadians care deeply about our country and who’s leading it. Last week that meant a government, but you can all anticipate a new, empowered wave of stakeholder advocacy.
Second, authenticity now trumps jargon and hyperbole. At NATIONAL, we first called this last February in a white paper we released in partnership with Reddit. Canadians believe in and are thirsty for fairness. In how we treat each other; in how we treat our country and our planet; and in how we engage our neighbours around the corner and around the world. Actions are the new words. Translation: if what you’re saying isn’t backed up by what you’re doing (at every corner of your organization), you’re wasting your time. More importantly, you’re putting your company’s reputation and business at risk.
Bottom line: We now have a new PM, and with him, a new Liberal majority. Regardless of what you personally believe and how you may have voted, the people we sell to and serve have spoken, and their vote is an inflection point for all Canadian businesses. It’s time to shift away from more of the same. It’s a chance – if not a direct mandate – to embrace change; to embrace the call for greater inclusiveness; and to embrace the passion that is at our collective core to be proudly Canadian, once more.
——— Written by Rick Murray, former Managing Partner and Chief Digital Strategist at NATIONAL Public Relations, and now Managing Partner at SHIFT Communications, sister company of NATIONAL