A centralization movement?
Rightly or wrongly, economic stakeholders believe that they are increasingly witnessing a political verticalization movement while our countries would need more horizontality and subsidiarity. While the concepts of decentralization, territorialization and differentiation are on many’s lips, more and more people consider that local initiatives are muzzled by decisions coming from “above”. True subsidiarity would no longer exist since only capital-based powers would decide.
Hence this question, often asked to our cabinet: is it still relevant to discuss with public authorities? In other words, since decisions are imposed on us a way or another, should we still seek to dialogue? Or put it another way: is it still worth trying to influence those who give us orders?
The thinking is relevant, and the answer is counter-intuitive: yes, absolutely, it is worth trying to influence those who give us orders! Yes, absolutely, in a movement of centralization of some decisions, it is essential to strengthen the dialogue with policymakers!
There are several reasons for this:
- First, in terms of public relations, we first have to dialogue with those who have a direct or indirect influence on our activity. If we feel that orders are given to us, or that centralization is becoming stronger, then this dialogue with public decision-makers should be reinforced. We only influence those who decide! More decisions: more influence to be worked on!
- In addition, public authorities always need the expertise they do not have, and the more a society wants to be democratic, the more experience and thoughts sharing is welcome. On the other hand, it is key to bring real, factual, contributory expertise, and not a new self-centered request.
- Finally, politicians and administrations have the objective (among others) to take decisions by ensuring that the induced effects of the latter will achieve their goals. Otherwise, they cannot be re-elected or have a smooth career development. A good decision is a decision that generates a lot of positive consequences.
Dialogue, always dialogue
It is only through dialogue that public authorities can conduct and implement the policies they have set. And it is through dialogue that companies and associations (professional and NGOs) can promote and defend their interests. What is at stake is everyone’s efficiency, and therefore the competitiveness of economic stakeholders. Centralization or not, verticalization or not, contributing to the thinking and work of those who decide is therefore crucial!
Ludovic Espitalier-Noël. www.influences-reputation.com