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Giving people a voice about the future of our most precious resource

October 4, 2018

Painted Dog’s research on Water Corporation’s ‘Tap In’ initiative has given the public an integral part to play in future proofing one of the planet’s scarcest resources for Western Australians. The initiative also illustrates that placing people at the heart of strategy development is not only the way of the future, but how leading organisations do it.

Our vision at Painted Dog is to make a positive difference in everything we do. So, when Water Corporation approached us to partner with them to develop their 10-year strategy – naturally we dived straight in (cue big splash).

Tap In, is an extensive community engagement initiative carried out to ensure the strategic direction of WA’s water needs are based on a solid foundation of knowledge and insight from the community and stakeholders’ perspectives.

We designed a robust research and community consultation approach which tapped into the publics’ voice about the one thing that connects us all, our water. The research program, which was carried out over 18 months delved deep into a wide range of customer segments and was designed to be informative, respectful and inclusive. Almost 700 participants were engaged across 54 workshops and groups, so we could develop a thorough understanding of their needs when it came to the state’s H2O. In addition, 6,988 completed surveys, covering metro and regional households, ensured we could quantify our findings and provide Water Corporation with a robust measure of the publics’ priorities when it came to the future of their water.

The overarching insights gleaned from our research has given our client a clear steer to develop their strategic direction. The consistency across each of these findings, from supply insights like the one featured in this weekend’s West Australian article ‘Public wants Perth water to come from desalination plant’ to demand insights like how the public recognise change is needed, but it isn’t easy, have enabled our client to tap into the here and now and work with the community to shape the future of water services for our state.

Executive Director, Michelle Clark-Crumpton had this to say: “The positive difference this research is having is ongoing and us dogs are proud to see its impact every day and hopefully keep on seeing it for some time into the future.” A human-centred approach to strategy development is not only an essential way forward in today’s business world – it has ensured a safeguarded future for one of WA’s leading organisations while also giving them a steady flow of fresh (water) thinking.