As a professional problem solver the political and sociological drama unfolding in Britain urges me to caution all parties to take a really deep breath or two. And think about the immeasurable benefits of proper advocacy planning and implementation before divorcing.
What took place in the UK last week is a perfect example of advocacy in action. Whether you agree with the outcome or not it makes a fascinating case so far for what not to do in terms of advocacy. While it is too complex of a case study to address all those aspects here, it is important to remember that on both sides of the decision there was strong public support for diametrically opposed outcomes. However that doesn’t mean that a mutually satisfactory outcome was destined to be out of reach.
What has stood out most prominently to me on all sides is the complete lack of planning for the possible outcomes of the UK referendum results. It almost appears that with the rolling out of the voting results a huge vacuum opened up leaving not only UK citizens hanging in limbo but the entire world.
Now the collaborative, advocacy planning, political strategist in me just wants to jump in to ensure that the politicians in charge get some couples counselling so they can mutually craft a way forward that doesn’t lead to irreconcilable differences and a very messy divorce court experience.
And the onus isn’t just on the politicians. It is on the citizens of the UK, EU and around the world. It is also on the political pundits and media. Let’s remember that advocacy for a political outcome is something to be applauded and celebrated. It gives voice to concerns and options that not everyone would have considered or contemplated. It highlights societal issues that need to come out of the shadows. But it must be undertaken in a responsible manner, not to divide but to make stronger.
Yet even now there is an opportunity for implementing principles of advocacy to unite the two sides without comprising the voice of the majority. Prime Minister Cameron, give me a call if you would like some advice. You have a perfect opportunity to show how advocacy can make the UK stronger and more united.
As I have told my clients in the UK and Europe, Brexit is not an end but an opportunity for a new way forward. How are you going to respond?