By: Roy Wells
“change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher
Since taking a history of western civilization class over 40 years ago, and spending the last 35 years affecting public policy, this quote from Heraclitus has been a guiding principle in the way I have approached leading a public affairs firm. Successful public affairs firms are those that excel at relationship building. You can have all the experience and knowledge of how government works, but if you do not have relationships with those who make policy, your chances of successfully affecting public policy are severely diminished. The challenge has always been the balance between relationship building and meeting the needs of your clients. In my opinion, successful public affairs firms are those that evolved by recognizing that change is the great constant in our business, and how you meet that challenge is the difference between being a good firm or a great firm.
As we begin the 2023-24 legislative session in Pennsylvania, 50 new policy makers were sworn in the first week in January in the General Assembly. At Triad, we started preparing for this change since early 2022 when members began to announce retirements, legislative maps were being redrawn, and primary battles were being won and lost. We knew there would be significant change, but like virtually everyone, November’s election brought a greater turnover than imagined.
At Triad, we embrace change, which is one of our 30 fundamentals that are the bedrock of our culture and the Triad Way. Change creates opportunities and capturing opportunities leads to success. Having a team of individuals who understand the importance of investing in relationships (fundamental #7) and embrace a culture which is all about building trust with each other, our clients, policy makers, and our communities, positions us to meet the challenge of meeting and developing relationships with 50 new members.
We have already started cultivating 50 new relationships and continue to build trust with the 203 returning members (as well as the key decision makers who will be joining Governor Shapiro). Our team centric approach does not require each member of the firm to build 50 plus relationships, but rather each member of the firm building a few relationships and then extend those relationships to one another and our clients. By the time legislative agendas begin moving forward in the Capitol, Team Triad’s clients will be positioned to educate every decision maker about their issues. And we are looking forward to those opportunities to continue elevating our clients voices.