To the editor: September 2003 at the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Not enough balance to declare war
I was surprised to read the article in your June edition of Company Director magazine entitled "The 21st Century Energy Wars". The article was not sourced by an author but instead referenced a group: The Centre for Co-operative Research.
The provenance of this group including background, or a web site for reference, was not included.
Having turned to a standard web search tool, it would appear that your article has been largely sourced from a web site www.cooperativeresearch.org.
I will leave readers to review this web site and form their own views on the philosophical perspectives of this group. However, suffice to say, the site covers many conspiracy theories extensively and I still cannot find an individual or group which claims to stand behind the material.
The web site is still being constructed and the authors, whoever they may be, caution against the completeness of the information and the lack of external review.
I would have expected that a publication such as Company Director, which seeks to inform senior executives, would have provided a balanced view on this subject.
I am confident that claims made by this group could have been readily confirmed or otherwise, by speaking to players within the energy industry.
I am disappointed this article was published. I am also disappointed that further attempts were not made to provide some balance on this important subject.
Peter MacCuspie GAICD
Big Sky Credit Union
A simple matter of simple courtesies
Recent contact with three different companies, all associated with the insurance industry, moves me to write this.
I did not receive from the companies concerned any form of communications, by telephone fax or letter, acknowledging or replying to my requests made up to two months prior.
We have all been taught, and we all know only too well, that a very quick and very sure way to lose friends is to ignore them when they address you or say something to you.
Nothing can be more rude.
Precisely the same effect occurs when people in business ignore their customers friends who have chosen (and usually for very good and proper reasons) to address them in some form.
I know that I was taught in my early business years that all incoming correspondence must at least be acknowledged quickly, even if the more formal and full reply had to await further inquiries. It seems that this principle is no longer taught, nor applied.
Perhaps it is time that we directors in our boardrooms spent some time enquiring of our executives about these business practices that so many of we older people have taken as axiomatic.
I know that we are in the electronic age, and there is a very easy propensity to regard customers as simply a number on the computer screen. However we customers are still people, and if we customers/friends are given a simple digital response, or no response at all, we might be excused for hurling a few verbal brickbats as we depart.
Fellow directors, it is time we thought more about this, and ensure those in our organisations take a l;ittle more time to think about it also.
C R Berglund AM FAICD
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