We all appreciate that politics is apart of everyday life. Decisions made by policy makers affect business and there are always those who win and more who lose. With political parties racing to control the middle ground, we see a lack of innovative policy development and a somewhat stale environment. But that's not the main issue. The real issue for me as a CEO and policy analyst is that businesses believe they understand politics because they watch the news and read the daily. It's a strategic mistake. There is so much more going on that you need to get your head around. Those who take the time to analyse the policy cycle and address gatekeepers, institutions, external influences like NGOs and ENGOs, legislative programs, the 4th estate and budgetary cycles, win. Sure big firms hire trained lobbyists and PR experts to manage policy risk, but it doesn't need to be that complex or expensive. At SMEA we understand policy and the risk political decisions pose business. That's why we give our clients the analysis they need to better shape strategy. And in many instances it's the missing link that could give you a genuine first mover advantage, or convince executives to hold off on a key investment decision. Managing policy risk and analysing the market have a common thread - smart orgs do it!