When the first draft [of the Action Plan] is completed it all sounds wonderful but next morning I feel I’m receiving a message from Above when I open my paper and read some words by Ferdinand Mount, the political historian, who has studied why some government regimes last longer than others. He calls the long-lasting ones ‘survivor regimes’ and argues that they ‘do not usually arrive in office with any detailed set of plans stretching over years or, if they do, the plans have speedily to be rewritten under the pressure of events.’ The first need of survivor regimes, he believes, is ‘to communicate a sense of confidence and to establish stability. ‘Characteristically, they will then develop a rolling agenda.’
I stick the cutting on the noticeboard in my office. Action Plans are all very fine I know, but it’s how we respond to day-to-day events that will really matter. The Action Plan can’t possibly encapsulate everything we plan to do.
Ahead of the Class by Marie Stubbs – chapter 2