Tennis reputation ‘aced’ by lack of perception thinking
The decision to allow World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic to play in the 2022 Australian Open within COVID measure guidelines is a salient lesson in poor reputation management.
Craig Tiley (Tennis Australia), Jaala Pulford (Vic govt) and the Medial Exemption Panels are now embroiled in that the Minister rightly describes - the decision ‘is what it is’.
However, the process of the decision-making did not take into account public perception. This is where perception analysis and strategy thinking needs to take over before any decision is made.
The process for the exemption was framed within legal and health thinking, not the explanation of the outcome of the decision.
The process may be ‘robust’ - as the Minister said - for the two medical panels in their assessments of the reasons for exemptions and on Tiley’s explanation of these reasons - within ATAGI’s guidelines and taking into account “anaphylactic response, myocarditis, a poor response to any kind of vaccination, or having had Covid in the last six months”.
But any understanding of public perception management requires an explanation and justification for the decision, not just an explanation of the process, or feigned understandings of community frustrations and being upset.
A further undermining of the process is the ‘privacy reason’ – leaving it up to the person (Djokovic) to provide the reason.
Unless Djokovic comes forth with an explanation, the reputations of all three parties, as well as Djokovic himself, is undermined by speculation and innuendo.
Public speculation will fill the void, people will be divided and the whole process that TA and the government put into place with sound legal, fairness and health protection thinking has failed.
Leaders and advisers who don’t understand that perception forms reputation are in 20th Century thinking.
People demand accountability today because it is their trust that has been stolen when reasons are lacking. Perception + Trust = Reputation.