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Treading where angels dare, we thought it would be interesting to shine our P3M light onto the Brexit programme from a stakeholder engagement perspective.

If there was ever a case study on how to alienate stakeholders and ignite indignation and mobilise resistance, this has got to be it! We have been watching this daily in the UK over at least the last 12 months.

For those of us that have been in the P3M profession for a while and done any sort of training, we know that the programme should have:

  • Identified the stakeholders at the outset and understood their areas of interest
  • Analysed their power in their areas of interest and influence
  • Planned engagements to reduce resistance and raise support
  • Delivered the communications and analysed how effective they are
  • Reviewed and analysed feedback and adjusted communications accordingly

It has been quite an achievement to upset all the remainers, leavers, inbetweeners and to mobilise the indifferent.

All proven best practice seems to have been happily ignored as they all know better (we’ve heard that one before) and we are currently witnessing the consequences.

What are the lessons learned from this?

We are sure you probably have a few of your own too, so to help you in the more mundane world of P3M, here are some of ours:

  • Lack of clarity in a Vision creates mistrust and division, Brexit means Brexit hardly articulates an inspirational view of the future
  • Never underestimate the forces of equilibrium, the harder you push, the bigger the reaction
  • Never assume executive authority will always win the day, they are not the only power sources in any organisation
  • Social media is the number 1 news channel in the modern world, not the press or TV, it is much faster and more targeted
  • No fact or evidence is reliable in the world of fake news, it just depends on whether the fact reinforces your view of the world

Blog written by Rod Sowden
Lead Author for MSP® and P3M3® – Managing Director of Aspire Europe Ltd

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