13 December 2019

Temple Insights for December 2019

Are we there yet? 
It is the final push to the end of the year.  And what a year it has been.  The elections – Victorian (OK that was 2018), NSW and Federal feel long gone.  Interest rates might be low, but interest in issues of trust and reputation is higher than ever.  When times start to get tough, when the scrutiny is high – the need for the very best reputation experts is clear – and we are seeing that in the roles we have completed this year.
This is especially true in the last half of the year where the majority of our roles have been at the head of function level and many of them have been newly created roles for organisations which haven’t had a fully-rounded corporate affairs function before. 
What this continues to tell us is that Boards and the C-suite of many organisations, are very well aware that reputation starts with people (see how we cleverly inserted our tagline there?) – and they need to get the right corporate affairs people on board – to rebuild and drive their agenda.  And we just love roles like this.  We get the lure and excitement of a greenfield role where a senior practitioner can build something up from scratch.  And we love it from a client perspective, because we just know that the person we find for them will make a major difference to their organisations’ commercial as well as reputational standing.
In fact, we are seeing unprecedented movement in Corporate Affairs senior roles and many people are asking us what is driving this.  I think the answer is fourfold:

  • Latent demand – a lot of leaders have been in their roles for sometime
  • Post-election reaction – as above many companies know they have to up their game in building trust and reputation  
  • Investors driving greater emphasis on ESG
  • Live policy debates in key sectors such as energy 

We are energised by all of this change and we are honoured to be leading so many companies through this important process.
Some of the best things we’ve seen and heard this year…
In our discussions with candidates and clients from both near and far (and this year we have certainly traversed the globe looking for the best people and practices), we have been exposed to some cutting edge work. Here are a couple of our favourites.
In an environment where culture change is front and centre, we found one offshore company who, for the purposes of internal engagement, segmented their employees based on their drivers at work – just as many companies segment consumers on the basis of their drivers to consume.  And before you ask, they did it really seriously and invested in this very heavily – not just a quick survey to staff.  As a result, this level of insight into their diverse workforce, gave them a completely different way of looking at their own employees and how to engage with them – no longer just by job title, team or business unit, but by aspiration, motivation and behaviours.  So, if your organisation is asking how marketing and corporate affairs can work better together, this is something to think about – a traditional marketing approach to internal comms.
Speaking of internal communications, here is an occupational safety campaign from Lendlease called ‘Mums for Safety’. We know how hard it can be to come up with something interesting AND effective for safety comms and to get an organisation to back it with both creativity and budget.  We dip our hard hats to Lendlease!
Farewell to a Friend and Congratulations to Lou
Finally, in some news from Temple, next week we farewell the incredible Susan Redden Makatoa.  She has been with us for more than two and half years, coming to us from one of the leading agencies and she departs for another. Susan is heading over to Edelman to become their Australian Group Managing Director.  At Temple, we don’t just service the Corporate Affairs community, we are part of it, and we couldn’t be prouder to send Suse off to lead one of its biggest brands.  
At the same time, we promote Lou Ingram to Director, Search. Lou has led communications teams globally and locally for brands such as CBA, Nokia and Optus.  She has been with us for almost two years and has worked on some of the most significant roles in the market.  She has a particular passion for investor relations and ESG (and she is also our internal punctuation and grammar queen!!).
Lastly, we are really very grateful to all our clients, candidates and our very many Friends of Temple for your support this year – and we want to wish you all the best for the celebratory season ahead.  We are here until the end of the year and the office will close from 20 December and we will return on 6 January 2020.   
With all our very best from all of us – RebeccaRossGabrielleLouBella and Jess and the entire Temple Team.