The 18th century Irish philosopher-Poet Edmund Burke is a role-model for many so-called conservatives who would be well-served to follow what Burke scholars report was his belief that policy innovation must come in response to specific problems. That means changing one’s position given new circumstances doesn’t mean you are a spin-master or a flip-flopper. Such repositioning could actually mean you are laudably a pragmatist looking for the best solutions.
Those of us who deal with crisis communications should address head-on accusations that we represent convenient positions and that staying-the course always translates to good leadership. In fact, “staying the course” may in reality translate to perpetuating a mistake.
So as the Obama administration deals with the realities of timetables or costs to leave Iraq or close Guantanamo Bay, the administration’s messengers aren’t being opportunistic or hypocrites, they are basing new actions or positions on changing circumstances. Crisis communicators must be flexible, also protecting their positions or clients’ positions as problem solvers and not ideologues that are intractable and subsequently unsuccessful.
Share your thoughts – do you agree or disagree?