Organizations have traditionally viewed their government affairs teams as a cost center, with only a vague understanding of how or whether the teams have any impact whatsoever on corporate business goals. And yet, according to McKinsey, the business value associated with some type of government action — i.e. legislation or regulation — is around 30% for most industries and as high as 50% for the financial sector. In today’s increasingly complex business and political environments, the GA function is more consequential than ever.
In the information age, advances in data collection and analytics now make it possible for GA teams to literally have more impact than ever before — to build deeper stakeholder maps, more efficiently identify champions for legislation, prioritize agendas based on insights generated from analytics, and understand not only how all legislators lean on any given issue, but what really make them tick. Leveraging this information to drive better results — to know more and achieve more — is the new table stakes for GA executives.
Government affairs exists because policy can have significant negative or positive impacts on business organizations. The ability of GA professionals to influence the policy process is their ultimate success criterion, but the conventional means of defining what that means and measuring its impact on corporate goals has historically been difficult to do to any real degree. With the information age comes the opportunity for government affairs to transform itself into a strategic player, along the lines of what marketing has done. By utilizing available data and technologies, government affairs teams have the opportunity to build more influence and drive more impact than ever before — the ingredients for landing a seat at the table.
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