As the official campaign for the 2015 UK general election is about to get underway on March 30th, it is fascinating to see the jockeying for position that is already taking place. Parties are already declaring that they would not work together under any circumstances, if no majority position is reached and a coalition needs to be formed in order to govern the country after the May election. And yet the proliferation of social media and the unprecedented access that this will deliver to all candidates to influence the voting public will certainly deliver the first general election in the UK where voters are well informed about the key issues and agendas of the small as well as the larger political parties.
Diminishing are the bad old days of politics in the UK where money was the only factor in determining political voice, where individual political sentiments was masked by tactical voting on a national scale and where live broadcast pre-election debates were only inclusive of the two or three major parties.
We are about to see a change on a dramatic scale away from the two party system to a true coalition government, significantly beyond that which we saw in the last election when the Tories and Lib-Dems formed their coalition. And yet the politicians and the political system is still not responding to the message of their voters.
Consider the situation within a business if, following a leadership reshuffle, a significant proportion of the employees were to declare themselves ‘in opposition’ to the new regime and were to spend the next 5 years seeking to undermine the leadership team at every turn. We know exactly what the consequences of such a situation would result in for the organisation – disaster. Consider also if the ideas of any of those favouring the new leadership team was constrained by the management team and employees were forced to comply with the ideas of the leader. What levels of employee engagement and retention would we expect to see as a result?
Yet again we face the prospect where the whip system will force those who were democratically voted into power to comply with the ideas of their leadership team on key issues pertaining to the future of the country, rather than encouraging their voice to be heard and taken into consideration in shaping the outcome.
When will the political system of this country catch up with the basic principles that we see applied quite effectively within most businesses? Change is never easy and yet we have seen the dramatic impact that social media has had on the political situation in many of the countries within the Middle-East over the past few years, albeit with some negative outcomes.
The writing is on the wall. The mechanisms of change are in place and yet the political powers are still failing to recognise that the cheese is being moved and it is time to get back out to the maze to find the new cheese.
We are fortunate to live in a country that has stood up for the rights of each individual within this country and others to have their voice heard and I am grateful to those who have given their lives and who continue to risk their lives to protect that freedom; however, there is so much more that we could do with that freedom that would result in outcomes that would construct rather than destroy value from the combined capabilities of those who we are about to empower to represent us in our parliamentary system.
Wouldn’t it be great if, once this next government is formed, we were able to gain agreement and support for a single vision for this country, with a clear set of priorities and values and a roadmap for the next 5 years in which the goals and milestones were clearly set out of how we would all unite in building value through collaboration.
We see the dramatic effect that Gareth Malone has had on those communities that he has worked with to unite their voices. Isn’t this the framework that we expect new business leaders to construct and deploy when they assume their leadership roles? Why would we expect otherwise of those political leaders who are supposed to be showing us the way ahead?
Thursday 7th May will present an opportunity to raise and unite our voices to influence the great potential of this country to be released. We saw in the 2012 Olympics as the athletic potential was released. We see it each year at the Oscars and Grammy’s when the creative potential is celebrated. We see it every day in our homes, schools and workplaces where the capabilities of families, pupils and colleagues come together to build value. When will we finally see it in parliament?