The Changing Face of Britain – Actually Make that Two

Thursday 6th May 2010 was hailed to be a defining date in British history, and to some extent it was, the political election results saw Britain with a hung parliament for the first time since the Second World War, which was probably not what anybody in the entire country wanted, no matter what your political persuasion.

Although there wasn’t a definitive answer, one thing was for certain, change was occurring, albeit through unusual means; a coalition government.

As David Cameron kissed hands with the Queen on the evening of Tuesday 11th May, much to the dismay of millions of Eastenders fans whose programme was rescheduled, and the formal announcement of the coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats the following morning, the country’s atmosphere was decidedly apprehensive.

Before the results, out of the three main political parties, a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats seemed as likely as Manchester United getting into bed with Chelsea and working together to get the one-two of the premiership.

As with any monumental change, whether it is in a personal, organisational or country-wide context, there is bound to be a degree of fear, anxiety and to some extent stubborn anticipation. Like any organisation facing change, Britain’s new Government are going to have to implement a change management strategy, otherwise they could have all types of action on their hands, causing further problems; look no further than the headaches that BA are facing!

Change is not a new concept, particularly in the business arena, which is why change management is a heavily subscribed business training topic. Gemma Middleton, Righttrack Consultancy’s Marketing Manager, says,

“People find change scary and often link change with negative connotations, which is why many of our clients incorporate key change learning messages into their development programmes.

From our experience, our advice to the new Government to ensure (well limit) society’s potential negative reactions to the coming changes is communication, communication, communication; not clever, round the houses information, but straight-forward, upfront news. This will help build trust back into politics.

If the Government adopted the honest communication practices that many UK businesses have built into their plans, their much talked about goal of increasing trust and improving the perception of politics may actually be achievable.”

So can the government take heed from UK businesses and turn the country’s fortunes around? As always, we will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, we had better get used to the two new key political faces of the UK – will these be the image of the changing face of Britain, time will tell?

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