MP expenses; a move from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous contribution

Like me, you were probably initially incensed by the MP expenses scandal.  Now after five weeks I’m bored of the story and would like to know what the plans are for moving this forward in away that is workable and hopefully something that we all feel we can trust in.

After five weeks people do still have an appetite for more, but how long can it run?  The original circulation of The Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph was boosted by around 700,000 copies after two weeks, but initial gains in readership must surely be tailing off, with the paper now boxed into an interesting spot in terms of what it does next.

The bigger potential learning from this story is the importance of organisations having a clear and transparent approach to its policies. The MP’s expenses was such a hot potato as it came at a time when other people were losing their jobs, cutting corners on their own expenses and dreading, in some cases, what is coming next.

As governments and corporations focus their agendas on development and climate change issues, it is critical that these are thorough and cohesive across the whole operation.  As our natural resources become even more depleted and carbon rations a part of every day, consumers will be very unforgiving of organisations that say one thing and do another behind closed doors.

As we come out of the current economic downturn, more and more people will be moving away from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous contribution.  People will want to know more about the companies they have a relationship with. It won’t be good enough to simply sell products and services. The critical policies around supply chains, what impact certain product categories have on the environment will be the make or break of tomorrow’s companies and more importantly, those companies who are the most open, transparent and consistent will win.