On April 18, Theresa May made her shock General Election announcement. I followed the media coverage closely that day, and one thing really struck me – there was a lot of swinging into action going on, a lot of plans being hastily made.
Political journalists and presenters and producers shook themselves from their post-Easter sluggishness to rush to Westminster, pitching media tents, securing interviews and drafting stories.
The rival political parties scrambled to look ready and raring to go, trying to put their best foot forward and convey to the electorate that the PM’s announcement that morning was a fantastic opportunity for them.
In other words, there was a strong sense that some of the UK’s most high-profile teams – both media and political – were facing up to a stern and unusual test. Already the clock was ticking, the eight-week countdown begun.
And what a turnaround that was from Labour in the end – and particularly from the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn. He got most of his team on board, engaged and excited by the project, in spite of Diane Abbot’s travails. Of course, a million and one little things influenced the result but, after reading this nice recent summary, I wondered what part the key factors of team interdependence and coordination played. Some things you can’t control – both in business and politics – but some you can. The balance between interdependence and coordination should not be left to chance.