Listening to the party leaders’ election debates and watching coverage of the campaign, it is striking how much interaction there is between politicians and the public – stage-managed or not.
During the debates, the leaders have been falling over themselves to provide tales from ’out on the stump’ to position themselves as in touch with the people.
It’s a shame that politicians only seem to feel this is appropriate behaviour during an election. People often think the top political brass are out of touch because of a lack of communication, so this level of interaction and debate should go on during a Parliament, not just when it has finished.
Business bosses know only too well the dangers of becoming out of touch with customers or suppliers. Yet significant numbers do not want to get their hands dirty and re-engage with the coalface.
This is a recipe for disaster. All business owners, particularly those in the advisory sector who no longer deliver face-to-face advice, should meet clients and trail staff to get a view on what is happening in the business.
Information passed up the chain can often be distorted or massaged into what the boss wants to hear. So those who regularly go back to the floor will gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Engaging with your firm’s customers at its core level can aid management in making decisions, and a failure to recognise this is short-sighted.