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This week’s riff: Parliament reopened this week with the Queen’s Speech, setting out the legislative programme that the new government will pursue over the next two years. The programme was based on the Conservative Party’s election manifesto, widely regarded as one of the worst of recent times. Given the loss of the party’s parliamentary majority it was unsurprising that many items from the manifesto were either watered down or dropped.

But does the fact that the Conservatives’ manifesto was a vote-loser mean that manifestos should be avoided? I believe just the opposite. The Tory manifesto allowed people to make a clear choice. Without a manifesto people would simply vote based on personality and gut feel, not specific actions.

If you want to lead change in your organization or team, some sort of manifesto is a great way of engaging your people and giving them clarity about the future. When Richard Baker became the CEO of Boots the Chemists, for instance, one of his first acts was to give his new executive team a memo that set out the behaviours he expected from his closest colleagues (You can read an edited version of it here). It was, in essence, his leadership manifesto, and one that people were happy to follow.

Recently, I have written my own strategy manifesto – see here – and the process of writing it has helped me better understand my own beliefs and will allow me to deliver even better strategy programmes for my clients.

So, how about you? What is your manifesto for change? And how will you ensure that it is a vote winner that leads to higher levels of performance for your organization?

Off The Record: Manifesto by Roxy Music

Hold out when you’re in doubt

Question what you see

And when you find an answer

Bring it home to me

© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.