The Queen’s Speech – ok, but where’s the ‘how’?
I’ve just been reading an interesting article from Nick Robinson (BBC) about the content of today’s Queen’s speech.
Nick begins by asking if we can remember any previous Queen’s speeches – not the visual elements of the speeches such as Black Rod, the throne or the horse-drawn carriage, but the content of the speech itself.
Can’t say I do…
Nick says that, when preparing their script for the Queen to deliver, every government tries to create a narrative that connects their disparate pieces of legislation in a way that will be compelling and inspiring for the public. He also states that so far no government has managed to succeed.
His thoughts got me thinking: Surely a set of clear objectives (the legislations), a strong narrative (the word crafted speech) delivered by a compelling leader (in this case the Queen) should stick in the mind – aren’t all the necessary ingredients there?
Well, the answer is no. It occurs to me after reading a few of these speeches that the ‘what’ is always very clear but the ‘how’ is not.
In other words, ‘here’s what we’re going to do’ but not ‘and this is how we’re going to do it’.
You might argue that the Queen’s speech is not the place to outline the how, but I disagree. If you want people to listen and believe, then you need to make what you’re saying believable, otherwise you risk disengaging those who can’t see how your objectives can ever be made reality.
When we work with an organisation to create the senior leaders’ Story (the story of the journey the business is on), we use our six-chapter StoryMap framework to create a clear statement of that business’s vision and purpose, linking together the component parts of its journey.
What we also do though is help its leaders communicate a very clear set of ‘how’s’ – whether these are practical actions, behaviors or values. They’re things the business wants and needs every employee to do in service of reaching its desired destination. This minimises any questions employees may have about the believability of the business objectives and the role they will need to play in achieving them.