Governance in a Post -Truth World

We have been hearing a lot about post-truth lately. The Oxford dictionary has declared post-truth as their word of the year. Post-truth is defined as “Relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Dire predictions are being made about the future of governance. How can leaders be expected to lead responsibly if the stakeholders won’t be evaluating performance based on the facts? Then again, others are saying that there never were any facts, that everything is an opinion. As an auditor, I have a belief that I can find out the truth through examining evidence.

Many people, myself included, are using the term post truth to explain both the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. We believe that the electors ignored facts in making both these decisions.

For those of us who work with board governance the rise of post-truth is concerning.  Perhaps we are not ready to deal with stakeholders who base their evaluations on anything other than what we consider to be the facts.

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