A useful six months
A regular monthly lunch, over six months, with the managing director of a state-owned utility, raised several niggling concerns, including:
- Problem 1: Concerned that a national regulator was eyeing off the state-owned enterprise to be made an example of, the managing director wanted to get a few messages to the regulator’s office and perhaps to develop a dialogue.
- Solution: An informal lunch for ten at Affairs of State, with the managing director seated at the right hand side of the regulator in order for them to get to know each other a little better. As the soup plates were taken away, the client winked at me to indicate that he had achieved his objective of having a meeting for the following week.
- Problem 2: Service delivery/quality problems, despite major national research authorities still not being able to resolve the issues, appeared as likely material for the adjournment debate in the parliament.
- Solution: The bright local MP was pleased to visit a significant employer and business in his electorate and to become part of the solution rather than bringing up unwanted and incorrect debate in the parliament.
- Problem 3: The government-appointed chairman was muscling in on the managing director’s role.
- Solution: The managing director was able to discuss the issues with myself as an independent person who understood the issues, and again, a little rehearsed act at a meeting allowed the minister to diplomatically understand the managing director’s viewpoint.
TOTAL COST: insignificant…
The Last 5 Per Cent…
A large city law firm contacted Affairs of State. I asked, ‘Why do you need us? You know just about everything there is to know on the matter.’ The partner replied, ‘That’s right. We know we know almost everything. We want to be sure we know everything.’
Silver Service Place Settings…
An Australian director of a multinational corporation asked Affairs of State to organise a luncheon in honour of his visiting co-directors from America, New Zealand and the United Kingdom on the environment and environmental markets. After the majority of guests had departed, the senior director, with an expansive smile on his face, made the comment, ‘Don’t ever place me in such a situation again. I was surrounded by people so clever I concentrated on talking to them, and can’t even remember what we ate!’
Right Time, Right Place…
A serendipitous meeting in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, between Affairs of State representatives, a client and a state premier gave the client an opportunity to promote their business to the key political figure in their region.