Blog

The Seven Rules of Done

Creator

Geoff McDonald, author of Done and curator of 1000Manifestos.com

Purpose

The Seven Rules – They are rules because they are principles, guidelines, actions, procedures and hopefully useful! They are the seven key ideas that allow us to move from the usual way of doing project planning to the more holistic view of project design.

Geoff McDonald - Done: How to finish your projects when traditional ways don't work

Manifesto

1 Stop planning!

The old saying suggests that ‘if we fail to plan, we plan to fail’. But planning is not enough – particularly when it only describes what are we are going to do. We need to stop planning and start designing to include our motivations, inspirations, and passion for our projects.

2 Don’t fix your problems

We all know what we want. But most of what we want is to fix something that went wrong in our past. This is limiting and it’s not satisfying either. Instead, we need to clear the decks of our past if we want to create a truly compelling future.

3 Inner over outer

When we fail at things we presume we are the failure. And that we are fatally flawed in some way. That’s human nature. But the real problem is we fail because we choose the wrong type of goal. We need to focus on our internal motivations to keep us going when we face the dip, an obstacle or simply when it all gets too hard.

4 Rules rule!

As the world has become more complex our plans for the future have also become more complex. Fighting complexity with more complexity is a recipe for confusion, chaos, and disaster. Instead, we need to develop simple rules to make it easier to navigate in complex situations. Think traffic lights!

5 Ship smaller sooner

Traditionally we aim to deliver one big thing at the end of our projects. The problem with this approach is the lack of feedback. This leaves us wide open for creating something that nobody wants. Been there, done that! That’s a short cut to “Why did I waste my time doing that?” Or worse, “What is wrong with these people, don’t they recognise my brilliant work?” That’s not going to lead you to a happy place. Instead, we need to create smaller versions of our final big thing to find out what will ultimately work.

6 Structure shapes success

The usual story is that we fail because of a lack of willpower, discipline or focus. This only tells part of the story as there are forces bigger than us at work impacting us in invisible ways. Therefore, we need to design our environments to promote the behaviours we want and to stifle those we don’t.

7 You have to change

When we create our projects our focus is naturally on the end result. However, if that’s all we do we miss a big opportunity. The real purpose of our project is to create a change in our situation and to make that change stick. To do that we need to change!

Source

Geoff McDonald and his book Done: How to finish your projects when traditional ways don’t work

Comment

The language we use in our manifesto is the key to giving it a decisive edge.

There’s something strong and definitive about saying things are ‘rules’. It implies following them, sticking to them and using them as boundaries.

Compare this to principles, guidelines, things… All useful but provide a different flavour to our message.

Further, the rules that follow also need to have a mix of familiarity and intrigue. I believe some need to be relatively obvious – for instance, most people will understand ‘rules rule’. It implies that rules are important.

In contrast, ‘inner over outer’ is less obvious. It begs the question, what specifically is ‘in and out’ referring to? In this case it’s about inner and outer motivation styles.

Stop Planning is another interesting rule because it is provocative – it challenges our usual thinking.

Plus, we want our rules to be sexy and slightly clever (not too clever). For instance, the alliteration (using the same sound or letter) of ‘Ship Smaller Sooner’ rolls off the tongue and becomes a snappy idea. It’s much more engaging than ‘Get things done quicker’.

When you’re writing your manifesto, pay attention to the words you use – words have meaning and impact. Choose carefully. Play with a thesaurus to figure out the right ones. And test this with a live audience face-to-face to reveal their emotional impact.

More

Geoff McDonald, The Manifesto Manifesto

Geoff McDonald, The Expert Manifesto

The Cult of Done

Qantas Customer Charter

Creator

Qantas is one of the world’s oldest airlines formed in 1920 in outback Queensland. Qantas is a leading long distance airline and one of Australia’s strongest brands.

Purpose

“We are Australia’s leading premium airline and we are dedicated to being the best.

We aim to meet your expectations every time you fly, and so we continue to invest in our business and will always strive to provide you with an exceptional level of service.

With this charter, we want you to know what you can expect whenever you choose to fly on a Qantas (QF) coded service from anywhere in Australia. Below we set out our commitment to you and provide links to our website where more detailed information is available.”

Manifesto

  1. We will never compromise on safety
  2. We are committed to getting you and your bags to your destination on time
  3. We will look after you if things don’t go as planned
  4. We will look after you if you have specific needs
  5. We are always on hand to help
  6. We value your opinion
  7. We will protect your personal information
  8. We support environmental initiativies

Source

https://www.qantas.com/au/en/about-us/our-company/customer-charter.html

Comment

This is a strong clear airline specific customer charter that is consistent with what I see the Qantas brand to be.

(There is a paragraph that goes with each of the points above that I felt was too long to share all of it here.)

In comparison to the Easy Jet Customer Charter the difference in brand personality and therefore the words used in this charter are clear – Qantas is more formal, Easy Jet is more casual.

Given they are both in the same industry you would expect some similarities. The obvious one is number one for both companies: safety first – even down to the wording ‘we never compromise’.

I particularly like that where Qantas say ‘We are always on hand to help’ they share a phone that you can call and a link to further ways to contact them.

Also, under the section ‘We value your opinion’ they offer several ways to this with them – phone, website form and even Twitter. Plus, if things go badly they even share the details of the Airline Customer Advocate service.

This is all part of the ‘backend’ or supporting actions that you will want to consider when you create your manifesto and in particular your Customer Charter. You don’t want to be seen to be offering hollow words. You do want to be seen as acting consistent with what you say will you do and who you will be for your customers – especially when things don’t go as you plan.

More

Easy Jet Customer Charter

Joseph Jaffe – The Customer Service Manifesto

Christopher Carfi – The Social Customer Manifesto

Luanne Tierney – Present Yourself for the Future

Creator

Luanne Tierney, Growth & Partner Marketing, Board Director, Outdoor Enthusiast- Helping our next generation

Purpose

12 strategies to build your personal career

Luanne Tierney - Package Yourself for the Future

Manifesto

Package Yourself For The Future: 12 Strategies

  1. Develop your brand
  2. Be a great communicator
  3. Look and act confidently
  4. Be physically active every day!
  5. Write down your life goals and look at them daily
  6. Be determined
  7. Negotiate Fearlessly
  8. Failure is an event, not a person
  9. Get outside your comfort zone
  10. Volunteer
  11. Know when to focus and when to multi-task
  12. Believe in yourself

Source

https://www.linkedin.com/in/luannetierney/

Comment

I always find it interesting when I’m looking for manifestos, where I actually find them as compared to their source.

In many cases, it’s as simple as ‘google’ the author or creator and find their website.

In this case Luanne Tierney doesn’t have a website. That might be part of a deliberate strategy or it might suggest she was looking for employment at the time she wrote and published her manifesto.

That’s a clever strategy that’s supported by the fact that I found her manifesto and her profile in a number of places, including: Slideshare, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

This fits with the current phase of Internet use that focuses on social media and apps rather than standalone websites.

It’s also a great way to share your manifesto as a visual image that is easily shared.

More

You might like her Slideshow “New Tactics for Selling Next-Gen Tech

Emily McDowell – Let’s Get Real

Opted Out of Life Manifesto

Four Pillars Gin

Creator

Four Pillars Gin is an award-winning distiller of gin based in Healesville, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, about 65 kilometres from Melbourne.

Purpose

“We established Four Pillars with a focus on gin. But great gin doesn’t just make itself. We recognised that our real focus would need to be on the craft of distilling.

If we could elevate this area of expertise in Australia, and bring a modern Australian sensibility to the process, then maybe we could make a gin worth shouting about.”

Four Pillars Gin

Manifesto

Pillar 1: The Stills
Meet Wilma, our original magnificent copper-pot still

Pillar 2: The Water
The best in the world, from our home in the Yarra Valley

Pillar 3: The Botanicals
Asian spice, Mediterranean citrus and native Australian botanicals

Pillar 4: A Little of Love
A commitment to craft and attention to detail every step of the way

Source

https://www.fourpillarsgin.com.au/distilling/our-four-pillars/

Comment

This is a deceptively simple and clever manifesto.

With only four components, it’s easy to digest. Great start!

The first (the stills) states the quality of equipment they use. The second and third pillars (water and botanicals) point to the quality of the ingredients they use. And the fourth pillar addresses the quality that the makers will bring to their craft.

Given these are all qualities it’s a highly aspirational set of company values. What I like about it is that they are practical values rather than the usual personal values (eg integrity), which can be vague when applied across an entire organisation.

The purpose statement (above) is simply included in a story about their business. For me, it’s shows that this manifesto likely started out from the maker’s perspective – these are the things we need to do to make world-class gin.

That’s a great place to start with your manifesto – what do you need to do to be successful in your chosen field? Aspire to these qualities.

However, like all great brands, these internal qualities also become the external ones that your customers measure your success against.

For me, I don’t know anything about gin. I rarely even drink it. But, I do know from reading this manifesto that there is a pursuit of quality here that is validated by the international awards they have received. As a potential customer, it gives me a reference point for trusting them and trusting their product, which makes it more likely that I would buy it compared to others that lack this.  

Also, if you read their website, there are some gentle stories which add flavour to the message.

In particular, I loved the story: “…We took delivery of our own custom-built still from Carl of Germany, and we called her Wilma (after Cameron’s beautiful but explosively tempered late mother). And Wilma turned out to be amazing, drawing extraordinary botanical flavour from a combination of rare, native and traditional botanicals.”

Now, that’s bringing your values to life for your customers!

Finally, pillars. A pillar is literally a column or upright structure used to support a building. Pillars are strong. The language you use to define your manifesto is important. Do you have values, pillars, a pledge, commandments or even a manifesto?

In this case, they have literally taken these pillars to heart and named their business: Four Pillars Gin. Now, that’s putting your manifesto in the centre of everything you do. While not essential, it is a strong statement.

Choose your words wisely because they provide an edge to your meaning and your branding.

More

Wikipedia Five Pillars

Nutiva Real Food Manifesto

Apple – We Are the Crazy Ones

UNEP Positive Impact Manifesto

Creator

The United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiatve (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector.

The Positive Impact Manifesto was initially released in October 2015 and updated in October 2016.

Purpose

In the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit, the Positive Impact Manifesto was created to promote sustainable finance.

Over 200 financial institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand today’s environmental challenges, why they matter to finance, and how to actively participate in addressing them.

UNEP FI Positive Impact Manifsto - Roadmap to Financing the SDGs (Social Development Goals)

Manifesto

As the global population approaches nine billion people, today’s world is one of increasing needs, decreasing natural resources, and rapid technological change.

In September 2015, the UN General Assembly formally established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be addressed by 2030, which effectively provide a common framework for public and private stakeholders to set their agendas and define their policies and strategies over the next 15 years.

$5-7 trillion a year until 2030 are needed to realise the SDGs worldwide, including investments into infrastructure, clean energy, water and sanitation and agriculture.

The greater part of the necessary financing and investment will need to stem from private finance.

Hindered by often unattractive risk and return profiles, to-date the amount of private finance mobilised for these purposes remains in marked contrast to the scale of the needs.

Yet for the SDGs to be met and to address the challenges they embody in due time, they must attract the trillions of USD of mainstream finance.

In short, the unmet needs must become the source of a profitable market.

Positive impact: a new approach to business and finance to achieve the SDGs

By seeking a holistic understanding of the environmental, social and economic needs around us, new business models can be developed that will deliver the impacts sought by the SDGs.

To address multiple and interrelated needs, these new business models will need to be cross-sectoral and sufficiently disruptive to dramatically reduce the cost of achieving the SDGs.

Such a holistic, impact-based approach is however not currently at the heart of the market, and is precisely the paradigm shift that is required.

To achieve the shift to an impact-based business and financing paradigm and ultimately the emergence of a vibrant SDG-serving market, a major challenge needs to be addressed, namely: the absence of a common language for the finance and private sector to understand and organize itself in relation to the 17 SDGs and their respective targets.

Positive Impact business and finance should be understood as that which serves to deliver a positive impact on one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.

Positive Impact Finance

Positive Impact Finance is that which serves to finance positive impact business.

It is that which serves to deliver a positive contribution to one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.

By virtue of this holistic appraisal of sustainability issues, Positive Impact Finance constitutes a direct response to the challenge of financing the SDGs.

Beyond a common definition, a common framework for the financing of the SDGs – the Principles for Positive Impact Finance – should be established to help the finance community to identify and assess positive impact activities, entities and projects – i.e. those able to make a positive contribution to the SDGs.

They also help a broader set of public and private stakeholders define and assess those financial instruments that serve such positive impact business.

Thus equipped, businesses, financial institutions and their counterparts in the public sector and broader civil society should start to form a positive impact community — the Positive Impact Initiative.

The Initiative should act as a hub for stakeholders to proactively and collaboratively work towards the development and implementation of new business models and financing approaches that will help address the SDG funding gap and realize the SDGs themselves.

Source

https://www.unepfi.org/publications/banking-publications/positive-impact-manifesto/

Comment

The power of a great manifesto is to present and highlight a need. It doesn’t always have to have the answer. It can simply be a call to action.

The Positive Impact Manifesto is a good example of this with these specific elements:

  1. The Goal: Fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  2. The General Problem: We need money
  3. The Specific Problem: The usual way we finance projects does not and will not work.
  4. The General Solution: We need a new way to think about and define finance for these projects.
  5. The Specific Solution: We need to think holistically.
  6. The Strategy: We need to create new business models.

The six steps provide a useful framework for mapping many complex issues that you might like to use in your organisational or social manifesto.

While you might not express your manifesto with all these steps, they can be used as a process to work from the goal and the problems through to solutions and strategy.

More

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Acumen Poverty Manifesto – adopting a similar approach by using innovative business models to deliver projects that resolve poverty

Arthur D Little Innovation Manifesto

Apple Corporate Values

Creator

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the following when he was Chief Operating Officer (COO) under Steve Jobs.  

Purpose

During the period when Steve Jobs was unwell and on medical leave, financial analysts asked Tim Cook how Apple would operate without Jobs. This was his reply.

Apple Logo

Manifesto

There is an extraordinary breadth and depth in our more than 35,000 employees, who are all wicked smart. And that’s in all areas of the company from engineering to marketing, operations and sales and all the rest. The values of our company are all extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we’re on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex.

We believe we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can focus on the few that are meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross pollination in order to innovate in a way others cannot.

We don’t settle for anything other than excellence in any group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.

Regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well. And I would just iterate a point Peter made in his opening comments. I strongly believe that Apple is doing the best work in its history.

Source

https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple_coo_tim_cook_lays_out_apple_manifesto_with_or_without_steve_jobs/

Comment

If we top and tail this comment we have four distinct phrases that epitomize a manifesto as a set of corporate values.

They can be summarized as:

  1. Great products (goal)
  2. Innovate
  3. Simple not complex
  4. Focus on the few
  5. Deep collaboration
  6. Cross pollination
  7. Excellence
  8. Self-honesty
  9. Courage

If you want a shortcut to writing your manifesto, then start a series of statements with the words: ‘We Believe’.

More

Apple: We Are the Crazy Ones

Mike Markkula – The Apple Marketing Philosophy

Zappos Core Values Frog

Easy Jet Customer Charter

Creator

Easy Jet is a low-cost British based airline with headquarters in London. It operates domestic and international services on over 1000 routes in more than 30 countries.

Purpose

Orange Spirit

Our mission has always been to make travel easy and affordable for all. When we started out over 20 years ago we challenged the status quo with the introduction of low fares. We didn’t accept the industry norms and we set about doing things differently. This ambition continues to drive us today.

But it’s not just about what we do, it’s how we do it and why we do it that shapes us as a business.

At its simplest we’re here to connect people across Europe. These days we’re not alone in doing that but we believe that by doing things in the right way and staying true to our values is good for our customers, our staff and our communities. In a nutshell we call it our Orange Spirit.

The Orange Spirit then shares charters under the following headings:

  1. Change for good
  2. Environment
  3. Diversity
  4. Innovation
  5. Accessibility
  6. Our Promise (their customer charter is shared below)
Easy Jet Customer Charter

Manifesto

Customer Charter

Our promise to you

Our five priorities keep us focused but the key is to make sure we deliver all this from the heart, with passion, ensuring our orange spirit shines through in everything we do.

Safety first – we never compromise – Your safety and security is our number one priority

On your side – we see it from your point of view – We don’t assume that we know best and we make decisions with you in mind

A big smile – friendly service is our passion – You can expect a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable service from all our staff

Make it easy – at every step – We’ll make sure you know what to expect at every step of your journey

Open and upfront – we will always be straight with you – We’ll always be truthful and will keep you informed at all times

Source

https://www.easyjet.com/en/orange-spirit/our-promise

http://corporate.easyjet.com/about/our-values

https://www.easyjet.com/en/orange-spirit

Comment

There are two manifestos on this page. The first is the purpose or mission statement and the second is the customer charter. There is also a link to the company values.

Together they show what is required to deliver purpose throughout a large organisation (with over 10,000 employees) is to provide layers of manifesto in different forms. One single manifesto may not be enough.

The challenge therefore is to keep them simple and consistent. Ideally, you want your people to be able to recite them in some way – at least in intent, if not in precise detail.

The Customer Charter is an important manifesto type for customer service across any organisation.

This one is neat and short – five principles – and in simple everyday language. Each principle is then layered. For example:

Safety first = this is a clear priority

We never compromise = this is a boundary rule – in a difficult situation, this one statement tells you what is required.

Your safety and security is our number one priority – this expands on the first statement – it’s ‘your’ safety, plus ‘your’ security’ that is important.

Could you remember this to act in a crisis? I think so.

There is also an overarching guiding principle here: the orange spirit. It is important to name your charters and principles so that people can refer specifically to them.

In this case, ‘orange spirit’ is a rallying cry for how we want our people to act – in alignment with our company values AND with ‘spirit’.

More

Fader and Toms – Customer Centricity Manifesto

Christopher Carfi – The Social Customer Manifesto

Joseph Jaffe – The Customer Service Manifesto

Wikipedia – Five Pillars

Creator

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia and one of the most popular websites on the Internet. Started in 2001, the site now has almost six million articles.  

Purpose

Wikipedia is an example of a decentralized organization. Volunteers edit the pages collaboratively. There are currently 70,000 editors who regularly update articles.

To manage this process, the team is guided by Editorial Principles embodied by the five pillars.

Wikipedia Five Pillars - Image from Wikicommons

Manifesto

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia.

Wikipedia has a neutral point of view.

Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit and distribute.

Wikipedians should interact in a respectful and civil manner.

Wikipedia does not have firm rules.

Source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

Comment

Perhaps the biggest surprise here is that a simple five line statement can be the key guidelines for managing a team of 70,000 volunteers.

Despite the apparent simplicity, there is a lot of information that is presented in these five pillars.

The first pillar states precisely what Wikipedia is – an online encyclopedia. This provides an important boundary – online only.

The second pillar states crucial assessment criteria – a neutral point of view. This means any one of the editors can judge if an article meets this criteria. While not perfect, it provide a basis for discussion.

The third pillar described the organisation of the information – free, anyone can edit, anyone can distribute. As the name suggests an open-editing system, a wiki, is therefore needed.

The fourth pillar states two crucial things. Firstly, it gives a name to the people who edit: Wikipedians. While not an easy word, it is useful. Secondly, it provides a simple rule for how these people will interact with each other – respectful and civil.

The fifth pillar is perhaps the most crucial and allows such a simple set of guidelines to work: there are no firm rules. Most people and most organisations would struggle with such a concept. In this case, as a decentralized organisation it throws the power over to the editors (the Wikipedians) to manage, control and sort out any problems amongst themselves.

In summary, Wikipedia works because these Five Pillars call a community together and gives them permission to lead and create the online encyclopedia, which is the mission of the organisation.

The proof that this works is the way the community safeguards the information. Given anyone can edit, it means anyone can also vandalise what has been created. And this does happen often.

However, it’s the power of the community that bands together to monitor what has been updated and to self-enforce pillar two, to keep a neutral point of view.

Ironically, the strength of these simple organisational principles is that the community of editors is in charge and takes ownership of the site and its content.

More

Geelong Football Club Theme Song – one way to unite a community

The Cloud Appreciation Society Manifesto – uniting people around their love of clouds

Stephen Johnson – The Third Place Manifesto – the importance of community as capital

Gihan Perera – Nine Things Successful Leaders Do Now

Creator

Gihan Perera, author of The Future of Leadership and multiple other books

Purpose

The rules of this manifesto form the basis for a book and training for working with corporate clients.

Gihan Perera - The Future of Leadership: Nine Things Successful Leaders Do Now

Manifesto

Part One: Be a Leader they want to follow

1       Show Up: Make time to lead

2       Speak Up: Cut through the clutter

3       Step Up: Stand for something

Part Two: Build a Team they want to be a part of

4       Light Up: Foster innovation

5       Wise Up: Build their judgment

6       Tune Up: Accelerate the experience curve

Part Three: Reach out to a World that wants to help

7       Team Up: Find talent everywhere

8       Partner Up: Join forces

9       Link Up: Leverage trust

Source

Comment

This is an elegant rule-based manifesto with a simple structure.

First, there are three parts reflecting three levels of leadership – leading the self, leading teams and leading in the wider world. This provides a neat way to provide an overview of your entire framework.

Second, there are three items for each part which provide actions steps and goals to be achieved for each item and each part.

Third, there is a consistent palette of words for each item all used a single keyword combined with ‘up’ as a consistent phrase. When this works well it is simple and elegant. Be cautious of forcing words to fit as it may come across as being contrived.

More

Dr Alan Graham – A Toxic Leader Manifesto – the other side of leadership, how not to do it

Geoff McDonald – The Expert Manifesto

Napoleon Hill – Laws of Success