Clegg signs top management guru for Party Reform Commission

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, President Simon Hughes and Chief Executive Chris Rennard have announced a party reform commission to undertake a complete review of all the party’s functions.

Nick Clegg said, “the Party Reform Commission is critical in ensuring that we make the best electoral impact over the coming years. I am determined that this root and branch review should take us towards meeting my commitment of at least doubling our number of seats within two elections.”

Chris Bones, Principal of Henley Management College, has been picked to head the review. He is a former director of Cadbury Schweppes and an advisor on civil service reform. “Chris Bones is highly respected and has a proven track record in organisational change management,” Clegg said.

This sounds like a great opportunity to make real progress within the party and knowing Chris Bones, it will be a thorough process.

In a seperate development, the leader’s office have also announced Former Managing Director of Saatchi and Saatchi UK, John Sharkey, as the Leader’s Adviser on Strategic Communications.

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  • Doubling our number of seats within two elections??

    And we thought Simon Hughes was barmy when he said that he was going to double party membership under his presidency. What a ridiculous hostage to fortune. Kennedy talked about winning 100 seats before the last election. If you looked at the swings needed you would have realized this was crazy talk, which only upped peoples expectations to an unreasonably high level and helped make the limited gains we did make in 05 seem like an under achievement. I don’t think Huhne would have come out with such a statement.

  • hmm, a Cadbury’s man … perhaps we’re shifting from our traditional relationship with Rowntrees, but still the ‘chocolate soldiers’ scenario? But more seriously, this is excellent news as there’s much work that needs to be undertaken on party organisation (which can at times seem quite disfunctional), and its best done by an arms length commission rather than a party committee or officers with vested interests in the status quo.

  • John Sharkey quote:

    “Politics is of low interest to people. That is why you cannot be
    positive. People are not interested in following the complicated claims
    that politicians make to defend their record…You cannot persuade voters
    that they live in a nirvana or that politicians can deliver it.
    Essentially, you say ‘Vote Labour and all hell will break loose’. People
    can understand this”

  • Was John Sharkey an Ashdown man?

  • worse..Sharkey was a Thatcher Man see

    Still, he’s probably just what we need for getting out a post-brown narrative

  • Gosh, our new leader’s done something ! Er, not very exciting though.

    Can you do something exciting please Nick to get us all motivated (you never know, even the public might take an interest) . . .

  • Nick announced the Party Reform Commission at the Federal Executive last night, where it received overall support. I think this is a good thing, not least because it will take a fresh look and bring back recommendations as to what needs to be done to make dramatic gains in the coming two elections. It will be ‘future focussed’ and positive in intent.
    The Commission plans to hold sessions to take evidence (oral and written) from all sections of the party. I know this cause I asked and was assured this would happen.
    The March federal conference will be used as the final session allowing the opportunity to air key themes that emerge from the work.

  • Oh well, Huhne did a good impression of looking the more wise headed during the leadership election.

    Managing expectations properly will help the party fulfill its ambitions. Setting unrealistic and unachievable targets won’t. Being ambitious is not simply about boasting.

  • Far be it for a Liberal Democrat to quote Tony Benn in vain, but what the heck:

    TB: “…Somebody wrote something the other day (I don’t know who it was) that exactly illustrates the role of management consultants. It was about a boat race between the BBC (when John Birt was there: a brilliant manager but not much of a broadcaster) and a Japanese crew. Both sides practised long and hard and the Japanese won by a mile. So Birt did what any manager would do: he set up a working party to find out why. The working party reported that the Japanese had seven people rowing and one steering and that the BBC had seven people steering and one rowing. So, faced with a crisis of that magnitude he appointed management consultants. That’s the only thing you can do.

    The management consultants, who cost a million pounds, reported and they confirmed the diagnosis of the working party but they suggested that the BBC crew be completely restructured: three assistant steering managers; three deputy steering managers; a director of steering services and the rower should be given an incentive to row harder.

    They had another race and this time the Japanese won by two miles. So they laid off the rower for poor performance and they sold the boat and used it for a higher than average pay award for the director of steering services!…”

  • David Morton 9th Jan '08 - 5:25pm

    I accept that “doubling” the number of MP’s is arbitary and thus a bit of a hostage to fortune however you have to have something to aim for. If you have no sense of forward momentum then its difficult to attract the kind of money we are going to need to do it. I think point 17 is the best one and will be the killer.

  • Lib Dem Bones, Dem Bones? 🙂

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