Friday, 11th November, 2016
In advocacy on Auckland issues of concern to business I have often asked: If we keep doing things the same way, how can we expect to get a different result?”
The brutality of the US Presidential election is over. We now enter a period of making peace and learning from Donald Trump's election victory. He got the result he did by doing things differently - building a constituency that tapped into a whole layer of ‘outsider’ Americans who believe the political establishment is supporting another layer of ‘better off’ Americans at cost to them. They voted for change – perhaps in the hope that someone else will deliver a better life for them but time has shown me that it’s what you do for yourself that makes a difference.
What will be needed as we set about managing our future under the emerging new world order revealed by Brexit and the Presidential elections won’t be our judgement on whether American democracy is being respected or not, but the attention we give to the individuals making the key decisions. There will be whistle blowers watching everything that is done in Washington. They will be the eyes and ears to ensure the western world gets the best results from the Trump presidency.
I am an optimist and have to be. Around the world there are a lot of leaders leading their countries into war and conflict, and whose values and actions are, I believe, inconsistent with the self-made enterprise and work ethic values that Donald Trump espouses. Again, time will tell.
Unquestionably, we are in for an exciting period of ‘doing things differently’ - a new style of leadership that means business having to operate in an environment of uncertainty and turmoil for some time to come.
A US survey since the election result indicates that Auckland is a favoured city for Americans considering relocating from this likely turmoil. Is this an opportunity for us to also do things differently - to balance our immigration and investment attraction policies by attracting skilled immigrants from North America to help address our skills shortages and accelerate action on our big infrastructure issues?