David Cameron has promised ‘a seismic shift in British politics’. So how will he go about delivering this transformation?
The new cabinet could follow the advice we provide to many of Britain's top CEOs facing similar ‘out of the ordinary’ challenges in their businesses. Successful multi-year transformations are founded on being able to manage three cornerstones of transformation and delivering tangible impacts across all three within the first 90 days.
Design the right portfolio of change
To address the national deficit, the new government will have to introduce a programme of wide-ranging cost cutting initiatives across a portfolio of public services (health, education, emergency services and defence) and civil services (central and local government). Getting this portfolio right requires an understanding of the links between these services, in order to determine the impact of the proposed changes.
The impacts of the transformation must also be measured in ways that the general public can understand and relate to. They will want to know that their taxes are being spent wisely and returning some form of benefit to them – just like the shareholders in any company would expect.
Establish the transformational capabilities to deliver the portfolio
As the new government removes any immediate wastage in the public and civil services, they need to ensure that what remains is equipped to deliver the transformation that will be required to start making a significant dent in the deficit. For example, they should look to being more ambitious with their approach to shared services and outsourcing. They also need to continue to recruit a mixture of experienced civil servants who know the business of government and private sector experts who bring with them new ways of operating.
Govern with clarity, strength of conviction and integrity
CEOs easily spend 80% of their time managing the key stakeholders in their organisation and the other 20% making decisions based on accurate management information. David Cameron must ensure that he resists the temptation to drown in the detail during the first 90 days – instead he needs to focus on the bigger picture and communicate the impact of the change to his stakeholders simply and powerfully. Using key measures to deliver simple powerful messages around the impacts of any changes on the nation will be vital in determining how successful the remainder of the term will be.
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