Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to a session that outlined the latest Roy Morgan research focussing on Mortgage stress and superannuation.

The data presented by Morgans CEO Michele Levine  was both informative and disturbing in a number of ways. I recommend you have a look at  the slides, and the report, and give some thought to the problems that will evolve over the next few  years that this country will have to address, somehow.

As I considered the data and the implications, it got me thinking more broadly  about one of my long term hobby horses.

Environmental research.

Not the tree hugging type, although there are significant commercial questions and opportunities there, but the sort of research that informs thinking about the long term trends and behavioural changes that will impact the competitive environment in which we all have to live.  Understanding the direction of change has proved time and again to be more important in successful commercial development than the more common stuff that just tests the reactions to a specific proposition. It provides the context for  the varying value propositions reflected in commercial and social offerings, and creates the framework from which you can learn.

environmental research 1


A sensible framework includes an ongoing process to scan the trends, focus on those that will have a long term impact on the community, generate alternative responses, execute responses in a trial format, test , measure and iterate.


In the fortunate circumstances that we had a political climate that encouraged and enabled the sort of decision making that a society needs if it is to optimise the mix of economic and social policy outcomes over the long term, this sort of ‘environmental research’ would act as a valuable input to the debate.

Pity we do not have that sort of political environment, our children will pay a high price for our failure in that regard.  The best I think that we can hope for is to rely on the collective common sense of the electorate, but I sense that cynicism and the resulting self interest are dominating.

Not much of long term community value seems to be coming from the current politics, although the participants all claim to represent the mood and values of the community. They should be publicly considering the implications of research such as that done by Morgan, and we would all be better off in the long run for the informed debate founded on facts rather than supposition, suspicion and hyperbole.

There is however considerable meat in the data useful for the development and informing of commercial strategies and priorities. This ‘meat’ should assist you to optimise your returns while our so-called leaders fiddle.