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How can your business navigate the cultural and political divide?

For decades businesses have been insulated from social issues. That has changed. With the move away from shareholder primacy to one where multiple stakeholders’ concerns need to be balanced, life has gotten more difficult. You are now expected to take a stand on the issues of the day. But in a world where politics are so divided, how can you navigate this quagmire, without alienating at least one of your stakeholders?

The implications extend throughout your business. They affect HR strategy on issues such as employee benefits (such as travel for medical care that people can’t get in the state they live in) and diversity training (as exemplified by as the resistance that Walmart and Disney got to their training among their customers), as well as lobbying, marketing and public relations strategy and more.

How can you balance the competing views of your employees, your suppliers, the communities and the legislatures of the states you operate in and your customers? An explosion with any one of them can bring down your company.

What do you need to know to avoid those explosions? You need to understand the perspectives of each of the stakeholders, the Ethical Zones everyone’s operating in, and the trigger words that can set off people.

When you do this work, you can help find the way through, while learning how to talk to each of them in a way they can hear.

To get a feel for Karen’s advice, check out this article on ethical dilemmas, and articles on HR implications in the Nov. 2020 and Feb. 2022 issues of Human Capital Innovations, on conflict resolution with customers on and on how you can use these concepts in your public relations efforts. Or ask her your question here.  

Karen's book, Marketing Landmines: The Next Generation of Emotional Branding, can help you understand where the landmines are buried, so you don't step on and explode them. You can buy her book at Amazon. Or if you want a quantity, contact Karen for details. 

If you want more help, contact Karen for information about her speaking and consulting services. She can have your team up and running in no time!

Karen Tibbals @KarenTibbals

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