As I sit watching the aftermath of the Scottish Independence vote, I am surprised that Scotland voted No to Independence.
Personally, I would much rather be led by someone who had my best interests at heart, and I don’t think that can always be said of the London based UK government. There is a significant North/South divide which gets wider the further north that you go.
I think that one of the challenges of this vote, especially for the pro independence campaign was that there was no real vision of what the Independent Scotland would be like.
It seemed like Alex Salmond was focusing on not being chained to the past rather than painting a bright future, with a clear picture of what an Independent Scotland would mean.
This has been the cause of failure for so many large change programs, people do fear change, and thats usually because they fear the unknown.
In this vote Alex Salmond left too much unknown, he didn’t seem to really have a very clear plan, even on such basic things like currency.
Whilst there are always people who will crave independence, there is a significant group who will want to be sure that the future will be better after the change, and if they don’t see that then they will resist the change.
We cannot motive people away from their current position, which means that telling people how bad it is here will not get them to move towards an unknown destination, many people are of the better the devil we know thinking than they are ok, lets just jump into the void.
To move people, to create a movement, we need to create a clear picture of what the new worlds will look like, what are the benefits, what’s in it for them.
But for me there seemed to be no real clear vision other than the thought of Freedom.
In most change programs there is no organised resistance and yet the changes are still tough to implement as their is a natural tendency to rest change.
But here there was a No campaign, one which could raise concerns, fan the flames of fear, and talk of impending doom should independence go forward.
If you couple this with no clear vision, its impressive that the Yes vote managed to achieve of vote of 45%.
Alex Salmond had the opportunity to create history, but in my opinion he has fumbled the ball. You cannot just leave something as important as this just on the dream of freedom.
Change works best when there is a clear, believable vision that emphasises the benefits for all those involved.