Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Formula for Budget 2015

The Coke marketing analogy is credible. As people can change, companies can change and Governments can change ...
A few years back Coca-Cola decided to enter the energy drink market. It launched a product called Mother that was so bad eight out of 10 consumers said they hated the taste. Instead of deleting it Coca-Cola completely reformulated it and printed on the top of every can: "New. Tastes nothing like the old one". 
Tuesday's budget is genuinely new.
Read the rest here 
The real reason for the change of heart, direction and budgetary urgency is two fold. Political capital or lack thereof as eroded by the poor form shown in 2014 and, what appears to be a real case of change for the better, hence they have learned from their erroneous ways. Think congeniality, listening, empathy, consultation, consensus and teamwork.

Teamwork deserves special emphasis as it's noted that the entire senior Abbott ministry is behind the sell of this budget. Sussan Ley, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Warren Truss are just a few who have shared the selling of the budget to date. I suspect this is part of the new strategy, a whole team approach with the treasurer at the centre. Just this morning in an interview with Laurie Oakes, Joe Hockey appeared evasive about some budget details already released, indicating that the Prime Minister would outline more throughout the day. Oakes chuckled while adding, "it seems strange the treasurer cannot talk about his budget".

If the Abbott Government has truly changed it ought be applauded. Change is hard for people, organisations and Government because of the underlying fears associated with perceptions. It must be managed to counter some possible perceived losses including:
  • Security – perceived loss of control, not knowing where the Government stands.
  • Competence – perceived as no longer knowing what and how to do.
  • Sense of direction 
  • Respect – fallout from being criticised for failing in the old ways.
  • Expert knowledge – perceived lack of expertise.
  • Disruption of routine – loss of familiar territories and predictability factors.
  • Threat to position, power, security and authority. 
The Government appears to be reframing itself successfully through its actions which in turn, are challenging the assumption that change can have negative impacts. It is  focusing on the positive elements of the budget and selling accordingly.

Still, Government is Government and hard choices need to be made and sold, that said, this is the budget for the times, the new formula and I predict a better year for Abbott,  Hockey and co.

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