Customers are not top priority for businesses

The Lloyd’s Risk Index for 2013 shows an interesting view for Europe.

Respondents of the survey, representing 588 C-suite and board level executives, were asked to rate both the overall risk category and a number of specific risks within each of the overall categories for both their corporate risk priorities and for the degree of their business preparedness to manage those risks.

Here are the results for Europe:

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My key observation for Europe shows that 3 out of the 5 concerns for businesses are influenced by Government actions – High taxation, Changing legislation and Excessively strict legislation. Customers are sadly not their top priority. For businesses, there’s clearly a shift from focussing on customer needs, to spending huge resources on meeting government requirements so they don’t face penalties. Do changes like this present the right incentive for a business? Would these actions result in a better product for the customer? I have my doubts.

My key concern here is that interference by an entity like the Government represents a very artificial influence on organisations, an influence that ultimately translates into a form of control, to achieve objectives that don’t necessarily benefit the business or help them to grow and develop. In the long term, creativity and innovation are at risk. In the short to medium term, there are huge barriers to entry for start-ups, businesses will become very restricted and limited in their scope and approach adversely affecting their fundamental position to trade and improve their offerings to the customer. Lastly, but most importantly the likelihood of fraud / corruption. This is inevitable if politicians who are also individuals have much broader powers over the actions of a business. Not a healthy outlook.

I wonder how Europe got to this position.

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