How to win Friends and Influence People

They say that a week is a long time in politics. But changing public sector strategy can take a lifetime. So it’s unrealistic to expect civil servants to turn on a sixpence and immediately revise budgets and scorecards to implement the recommendations of a single study. It takes a bit more effort than that. So I was a little surprised by the reaction of Richard Clayton, a researcher from Cambridge University, to the rather inadequate Government response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s recent recommendations on personal Internet security.

Richard’s posting on the Cambridge University Security Research blog accuses the Government of being stupid or ignorant because they did not immediately implement his recommendations. Welcome to the reality of politics and business. Change cannot be achieved through good ideas alone. It requires convincing evidence, a sound business case and patient lobbying. And when you don’t get your own way, the smart response is to refine your arguments, not criticise the decision makers.