Gapingvoid’s Under 500-Word Manifestos Make You Go Hmmm

by Frank Roche on November 29, 2006

in Culture, Talent

Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid is soliciting under 500-word manifestos. Here’s the deal:

I have to say, after writing an under-five-hundred-word mini-manifesto, I find myself quite taken by the format. Somehow the brevity just clicks for me.

Why take 50,000 words [the length of your average business tome] to say what you have to say, when 500 will do? Brevity. I love brevity. We’re both in a hurry.


So here’s the deal. If you’ve written a manifesto in 500 words or less, and you want help spreading the word, just e-mail it to me, or send me the link. If it’s any good I’ll either link to it, or post it here on gapingvoid [under the same Creative Commons terms with which I publish my own work].

Today Hugh published Anna Farmery’s manifesto from The Engaging Brand. I thought her take had particular importance for HR. How would you answer her questions?

If… a brand starts inside, an employee’s confusion

1. If you believe in the strategy, why can’t you explain it?

2. If talent is important, why is promotion based on your social circle?

3. If we are entrepreneurial, why do we make decisions by consensus?

4. If values are important enough to put on a card, why are they not applicable to leaders?

5. If the future is important, why do we spend time in meetings looking at the past?

6. If you embrace talent why, do you only speak to me about my weaknesses?

7. If we aim for a USP why, are encouraged to produce sameness?

8. If we believe in diversity, why are you all 40+, white and male?

9. If we need to cut development and R&D to hit budget, how can you afford a two-day team bonding session in a 5-star hotel?

10. If it is us that interact with customers, why don’t you see we should feel the brand values first?

Anna’s #6 is a real pick in the heart to many performance management systems. Amazing, right? Performance reviews happen at the end of the year, and they end up being “7 good things and 3 bad things you did this year.” Ugh!

I’m going to get cracking on an under 500-word manifesto. More here soon.

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