There is an expanding body of literature demonstrating how reputational issues impact on the trajectory of business. In the modern world there is much greater emphasis on possessing the “social licence” to operate and being able to navigate a complex obstacle course of stakeholders to achieve business aims. The leadership of organisations are key influencers of a company’s reputation.
Traditionally, there has not been as strong a focus on the value of reputation, possibly because it is not easily quantifiable in financial terms.
However, if we were to attempt to look at it in terms of financial terms, the reputation of a company is one of its largest intangible assets.
Just as one looks at the normal assets of a company, you should never have a reputation deficit. When facing difficult times, it makes sense to hedge your risk, and some thinking should go into how you should “hedge” your reputational risk.
Take away your reputation and you are subtracting radically from the value of your firm, or your ability to attract the best talent. The time to act is now rather than wait until your organisation is called up before a government inquiry into the sector.
Reputation management works through a combination of short, medium and long-term initiatives. However, it needs to be considered as part of an integrated communications strategy that is focused on protecting your business and providing the strongest possible platform for future growth.