What my professional and personal experience has taught me over the years, in agriculture, journalism, politics, lobbying, public relations and communications is the importance and power of our shared humanity. Our shared humanity can change lives; it can change politics - it can change everything. It’s something we witnessed during and after the Christchurch terror attacks, where what was intended to divide a nation only united us and emboldened us to make meaningful change - inspiring people across the world. Our social licence is earned by humanising how we operate and engage with our stakeholders and it’s measured on trust. One of the main components of building trust is a connection of values (value alignment). It’s your ‘common ground’. You’re guiding light when navigating bridging those gaps. They are your true north. Staying true to your core values enables you to be authentic and consistent, making you credible to those you are trying to build relationships with. Picking values that aren’t meaningful to you will quickly have you found out as your ability to live them authentically is thwarted. Humans today are an increasingly cynical bunch, whose bullshit radar is on high alert. So, if we are going to earn our Social Licence we need to be authentic and genuine in our engagement and our values are what guides us. Your Social Licence is dependent on three things
Value alignment = Connection
Living values authentically = Action
Accountability and transparency = Trust
Prioritising your resources and energy to humanise how you engage with your stakeholders will ensure your business or industry is around for generations to come because you are future-proofing by getting ahead of regulations and market cycles. Your finger is on the pulse because you are connected and trusted. Engaging from the ‘ground up’ is the best approach because that’s where authenticity is born and trust is grown. Anything worth doing takes time and effort and earning your social licence is about creating a ripple.