At the Wellington launch of Billy Te Kahika’s NZ Public Party, the leader digressed from a prepared speech to tell an anecdote about meeting the CEO of Merck on his plane trip to the Capital. Billy relayed, in the context of his ideas about Covid19, what the CEO had told him frankly about the pointlessness of New Zealand’s vaccine investment, and who was likely to get that money.
This is a reminder to CEOs about the value of understanding what is happening in your nation. Few would have the time or the networks to know about Billy Te Kahika. But companies and people in public need to understand the people, ideas and moods driving their audience.
CEOs should ask their PR people to update them at least once a month on what is going on in New Zealand. Billy would appear in that report at some point, and meeting him, you could recognise and adjust accordingly.