0 comments on “Boeing tried to win the wrong argument”

Boeing tried to win the wrong argument

This blog is based on a short quote which the Financial Times was kind enough to include in “Boeing criticised for not acting faster“.

Boeing appeared to be trying to win the wrong argument.

Having watched the dominoes fall around the world, as successive countries decided to ground the Boeing 737 Max, the US finally followed suit.  Two crashes months apart were enough.

Right up until that point, when President Trump and then the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) withdrew support, Boeing had seemed confident that all would be well because the FAA was not at first mandating further action.

But while Boeing had focused on explaining the technical argument, it lost the public, more human, one.  Though it was initially supported by the FAA, it could not last.

The popular arguments took hold, among customers, passengers, pilots and governments.  All were all fearful.  Ultimately, it was that, the human reaction and concern that held sway.

Boeing’s technical reassurances missed the point.  It is all very well to be working closely with the FAA to have the flight control software enhancements ready for April.  But that did not comfort anyone.

From a reputational point of view, they would have done better to get out ahead and put in some sort of firebreak.  To be seen to do the right thing.

Even with an “abundance of caution”, as many others put it, they could have made the decision themselves to ground their planes and lead the investigation to find out and resolve what had gone wrong.

Instead, they have ended up in the same place, with their planes on the ground, but with less credibility and authority.

Handling a crisis well can enhance an organisation’s reputation.  They missed that opportunity.

Boeing let the arguments and the agenda get away from them.  Instead of shaping events, they were dictated to.

Boeing may be have been making rational choices based on technical evidence they had available, but they were not adequately addressing the public concern.

From now on, they need to be a model of openness in relentlessly exploring what has gone wrong.  They need to demonstrate that they have listened to concerns and addressed them.

Because of the accidents, they had a performance issue. Now they have a conduct and performance issue.

They need to be their own harshest critic, in the open, and show that they will do absolutely all that’s necessary to put things right.  To fix performance and conduct.

Instead of using legalese to talk about an “abundance of caution” they need to show they are human and talk about what they have learned and what they will do differently.

0 comments on “Fourteen Forty to promote Xero to industry and stakeholder groups”

Fourteen Forty to promote Xero to industry and stakeholder groups

Xero, the online platform for small businesses and their advisors, has appointed Fourteen Forty as its new stakeholder relations consultancy in the UK.

The agency will work alongside Xero’s media relations agency, The Academy, to help build relationships with a wider group of critical audiences. These include professional intermediaries and potential commercial partners, representative bodies, policy makers and government.

0 comments on “Championing the small business economy”

Championing the small business economy

By Gary Turner, managing director, Xero, the online platform for small businesses and their advisors, and Fourteen Forty client

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Very often small firms do not need external investment to grow.  They need working capital.  That was one of the key messages that came out of a stakeholder and media event that we recently held to launch Xero Small Business Insights.

0 comments on “Investors are waking up to the risks posed by antibiotic resistance”

Investors are waking up to the risks posed by antibiotic resistance

By Joy Frascinella, head of PR, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Joy FrascinellaAntibiotic resistance, caused by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, is a very real and growing threat to human health worldwideIt is estimated to claim approximately 100,000 lives in the US and Europe every year. The numbers are much higher in developing countries.

0 comments on “Do brands really need a “social purpose” to do good?”

Do brands really need a “social purpose” to do good?

By Guy Corbet, Fourteen Forty 

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The researchers at professional services firm EY reveal four fifths (82%) of us believe a brand’s values must include a clear purpose. This purpose is critical in deciding whether or not we will buy from them.

0 comments on “Making the moral case for business”

Making the moral case for business

You’ve had this conversation before.

Maybe over supper with friends, your family or a colleague at work.

You’ll make the case for business and free enterprise more broadly. Companies support 82% of all employment in this country.  They provide the taxes that essential public services depend on, you’ll add.

0 comments on “Weak Links #2: brands, holocaust, art, apologies”

Weak Links #2: brands, holocaust, art, apologies

“Weak Links?”

In 1973 Stanford Professor Mark Granovetter’s “the strength of weak ties” argued that weak links, between people with different opinions, help new and unfamiliar ideas spread.

Strong ties bind friends and families. They encourage group think and build echo chambers. They deter people from thinking broadly, or seeing other perspectives. Strong ties lock you in.

0 comments on “Consistency is the key for brands to meet the test of time”

Consistency is the key for brands to meet the test of time

We talk to Zoe Fenn, director at Flamingo, the global insight and brand consultancy, about how brands need to adapt to stay ahead.  

Zoe FennQ: Zoe, there’s been a lot of talk around the death of the brand, do you think this holds water?

Zoe Fenn: Not at all.  Of course, some of the really big brands that have been around for a long time will fade.  So will many of the new ones.

It’s always been that way.  The brand graveyard always gets bigger.  But that’s different to the death of the brand.