ALL DIGITAL a European association based in Brussels and represents over 25,000 digital competence or training centres. Previously, they were known as Telecentre Europe.

The Digital Competences Manifesto was first presented at the ALL DIGITAL General Assembly in May 2019, and after the extensive consultation with ALL DIGITAL members was adopted by the Board and then presented at the ALL DIGITAL Summit in Bologna on 11 October 2019.

Why We Exist

We focus to support Europeans that have an insufficient level of digital skills. That means that they’re having less chances to find work, to use online services, to have a better quality of life, to be included in today’s society.

What we believe in

We believe that every European should be able to exploit the benefits and opportunities created by digital transformation.

How we work

We empower our member organisations representation non-formal education providers to support millions of Europeans to success in the digital transform by providing them with training and advice.


“Digital competences are necessary in all aspects of life, whether they are social or personal, relate to labour or leisure, in any sector, public or private. IMPROVED CITIZENSHIP IS THE PRIMARY AIM OF DEVELOPING DIGITAL COMPETENCES. It is our conviction that the education and training (ET) on digital competences need a more consistent approach and a cohesive European system of delivery. That is why we have worked with our network of digital competence centres and relevant expert organisations on a Manifesto on digital competences.

This manifesto contains a series of key principles and recommendations on how to maximise the impact of education and training, as powerful instruments towards a continuous development of digital competences for the European citizens.”

The manifesto is currently endorsed by 44 agencies from European countries.



The Manifesto contains a series of key principles and recommendations under five main areas on how to maximise the impact of education and training, as powerful instruments towards a continuous development of digital competences for the European citizens:

1. The education and training offer
2. Access to education and training
3. Quality of education and training
4. European homogeneous validation
5. Sustainability and development

The Manifesto is the result of a grassroots movement in Europe, but we believe it speaks to everyone and everywhere, and ALL DIGITAL is ready to start a dialogue and engage in common actions with partners around the world.



This is a great example of how I believe organisations should incorporate multiple manifestos into their vision creation and business strategy. (It also fits for individuals.)

The first level is the fundamental and ongoing reasons that underpin the purpose of the organisation. For ALL DIGITAL, they have neatly defined this at three levels:

  • Why We Exist
  • What we believe in
  • How we work

This example is particularly good because these three elements have all been stated in only 1-2 sentences. This shows a clear and precise focus.

The second level is that of a campaign, project or game that translates the reason for being into a direct and typically shorter-term focus – The ALL DIGITAL manifesto.

This includes inviting endorsements and support for their manifesto.

One is enduring and unlikely to change. The other is more specific and usually has a time-frame to achieve a specific outcome.


Startup Manifesto – a Europe based call for supporting startups to take advantage of digital transformation

The Embedded Metadata Manifesto

Wikipedia Five Pillars

Rackspace Core Values


Rackspace provide IT services


“Company values provide the guiding light for our vision”



“Rackspace accelerates the value of the cloud. We meet you where you are and get you where you need to go, helping you realize the power of digital transformation without the complexity and expense of managing it on your own.

We deliver unbiased expertise through our comprehensive portfolio of managed services — across applications, data, security and infrastructure on the world’s leading cloud platforms — with proven results.

And we wrap all of our services in Fanatical Experience™: the proactive, results-obsessed approach to serving customers that has driven us for two decades.”


Fanatical support in all we do
Results first, substance over flash
Committed to greatness
Full disclosure and transparency
Passion for our work
Treat fellow Rackers like friends and family


Thanks to Bill for sharing this manifesto


I’m a fan of having values and identifying what’s important to you.

I’m not a fan of the way they are typically used – particularly in organisations.

Too often I see a handful of words written on a website or even in the foyer of the main office that say grand things like: We value integrity, honesty, self-reliance…

But that is all. The values are never seen or heard of again.

If you simply leave your values at the level ‘a word’ then the meaning and benefit of having them is lost because no one knows what they mean and nobody lives true to them.

The Rackspace values are at least a short phrase. They provide greater context and sharper intent than a single word. For instance, ‘fanatical support’ is a clear intent. It’s not just ‘support’; it’s fanatical.

Also, I love the naming of their community: Rackers. It might not be the most elegant name and it is a strong call to identity. By having a name for your people it’s more likely you can call to them and ultimately unite them.


Apple Corporate Values

Zappos Core Values Frog

Helen Reddy – I am woman (a classic call to identity)

Conservative Party Election Manifesto 2019


The iTeam at have presented a neat summary of Boris Johnson’s general election promises for 2019.


To cut through the haze of what politicians say they are going to do to help readers and ultimately voters comprehend what is going on.


Here’s a summary of the summary. The news article as a paragraph of explanation under each of these headings.

Extra NHS funding
40 more hospitals
NHS Visa
50,000 more nurses
6,000 more GPs
£1bn extra yearly for social care

Process and transition
Trade with the world
Farming and fishing
Trade with the EU
EU standards

Greenhouse gas emissions
Climate change

Personal taxation
Capital investment
Business taxes
Borrowing and debt

Heathrow expansion
Flood defences

Democracy and the regions
Northern Ireland
Constitutional reform
The North

School Funding
More free schools
University funding
Arts premium
Ofsted inspections
National skills fund



In some countries around the world, it is usual practice for politicians running for election to declare their manifesto of their intentions if they are voted into office.

We don’t do this in Australia (at least, it’s not called a manifesto) and the UK they do.

I really like the idea of this. It’s upfront, public and ideally as potential voters we have a public record what is being promised. It’s all about being open and transparent.

The big challenge with this is that running a country is a complex thing and there are lots of issues to be covered. And not all of as the general public are able to decipher what is being pledged and whether this is a real or even realistic opportunity.

This manifesto is the summary of what was said by the Conservative Party for the 2019 UK general election. I think it’s a great article by iNews.

I like the neat summary and I even more I like the personal comment rating the chance that this pledge is likely to be kept.


Green Party of Ontario – Five Point Manifesto

The Euston Manifesto – ‘for a renewal of Progressive Politics’

The October Manifesto – a precursor to the first ever Russian Constitution

My Manifesto


Blog Me Roselle is a wordpress website sharing the journey of an individual pursuing a MA in Design Management and Cultures


“Looking into manifestos made by important influential people in history for example Dr. Martin Luther King “I have a dream”, Jon Lennon: Imagine, The green living manifesto and Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On. There are countless more manifestos I totally agree with and support and in my own manifesto I touched upon issues that are close to me things that are going on around us everyday and changes that needs to be made.”


My visions for the future are:

  • Stop knife crime and start investing more into our young people. We need to find out what the problems are and why they want to kill each other. Find something constructive for these kids to do.
  • Look into the police force in great detail. We need to put a stop to the issue of drugs and guns. Investigate why the guns and drugs seized on the streets by police are then later put back onto the streets. This needs to be investigated and stopped.
  • I want all the rich people making a lot of money to be taxed more then the average person and have a system in place that they cannot move money out of the country without paying tax on it. The tax money taken from the rich must be put back into things like the NHS and community funding.
  • My vision is to turn every country in the world a green eco friendly land with everything renewable energy. But to be realistic I will start with the UK. The government needs to give everyone access to solar panels not just aimed at home owners give everyone who lives in council properties an opportunity to have one.
  • I would like to see every house, flats and business to have a compost machine installed on there grounds, so all food wastes can be disposed off and then applied to all green areas and used to grow organic foods. I want everyone to be involved in.
  • I want people working together as a community to help their neighbours, clean the streets and take control of today’s young people and mentor them to be better and do better and think about community.
  • I would like the school systems to involve the parents more on the subjects that being taught to our kids. I believe equality for all but I don’t agree with a school teaching my child about issues they don’t know about and as a parent I believe that I am the one to teach my child about transgender, same sex parenting and Homosexuality.
  • I believe that we all can be part of a better, fear and just world if we work together. Work together to stop wars people killing other humans for profit and for politics. Destroy all guns and make politicians, heads of states listen to the people and make the changes that fit every ones needs. I want every country in the world to become green and use renewable technologies in all aspects of their architecture landscape. Combat pollution and reverse climate change.



Most personal manifesto are – as you’d probably expect by the word ‘personal’ – all about what the creator wants or intends to have happen in their lifetime.

I really like this alternative approach. It’s a personal manifesto but the eight visions here are not about the individual.

Instead, they are social outcomes. They’re a worldview. They’re saying I want to live in a world that looks, feels and behaves like this.

The power of this approach shows itself when you share your vision with others. If it’s all about me, then people will likely respond personally too.

In contrast, if you’re sharing about how you would like the world to be, then a richer and deeper conversation may result. It might even lead to ‘yes, I want that too’ and ultimately, ‘let’s work on that together’.

This is how world’s change. It all starts with an individual stating their intention. And if enough people come together to make it happen, then a new reality is lived.


Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie – We are the world – the world coming together to raise money to help starving people in Africa

Quigley and Baghaic – As One Manifesto – a manifesto for transforming individual action into collective action

John Farnham – You’re the voice – a song about standing up to make your family and the world work a little better

Startup Manifesto


The Startup Manifesto was created by nine leading European entrepreneurs:

Zaryn Dentzel, Founder and CEO of Tuenti
Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify
Kaj Hed, Chairman, Rovio Entertainment
Lars Hinrichs, Founder and CEO of Hackfwd
Martin Lorentzon, Founder and Chairman of Spotify
Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK
Reshma Sohoni, Co-Founder and Partner of Seedcamp
Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zarten, Co-Founder of The Next Web
Niklas Zennstrom, CEO of Atomico


A manifesto for entrepreneurship & innovation to power growth in the EU



Help internet-driven economic growth transform the lives of millions.

Preamble Opening

Economic conditions in Europe remain hugely challenging with the European Commission forecasting that euro-zone GDP is set to shrink by 0.4% this year. Yet the growing importance of internet-driven economic growth could transform this picture by helping improve the lives of millions of people providing them with new jobs, new skills and renewed hopes for a better future.

Key Recommendations

Drawn from the combined experience of dozens of Europeans who were lucky enough to imagine, build and grow successful businesses — businesses that created thousands of jobs — we have distilled 22 actions which, taken together, can give European businesses the best chance of future success. We now call on entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and other stakeholders across the continent to engage in this dialogue and share their views on the manifesto to help move us towards the adoption of this singular digital growth plan for the EU.

Our recommendations are:

1. Education & Skills

  • Make teachers digitally confident and competent to rise to the challenge.
  • Teach our children the principles, processes and the passion for entrepreneurship from a young age.
  • Encourage university students to start a business before they graduate.
  • Prepare graduates for a radically different marketplace.
  • Encourage large companies to provide training for the general public.

2. Access to Talent

  • Turn Europe into the easiest place for highly skilled  talent to start a company and get a job by rolling out a pan-European Startup Visa.
  • Make it easy for companies to hire outside their home countries.
  • Make it easier for companies to let employees go.
  • Bring the best brains back home.

3. Access to Capital

  • Increase private and institutional investment in startups.
  • Make it easier for high-growth companies to raise capital through public markets.
  • Buy more from smaller businesses.
  • Institute an E-corp: a new type of cross-European corporation.
  • Tax share options as capital gains, not income.

4. Data Policy, Protection & Privacy

  • Revise and normalise data protection laws.
  • Remove the requirement for data providers to store information in any given country.
  • Make government data public.
  • Make governments think digitally.

5. Thought Leadership

  • Initiate a mentality shift across Europe in terms of how we define success.
  • Appoint a Chief Digital Officer for every country in the EU.
  • Create a ‘best practices’ repository.
  • Establish a Digital European Forum.



This is an excellent manifesto. Well thought, clearly written with some strong action points. But there is one thing that was a recurring thought for me as I read this:

What’s in a name? A lot.

What you call your manifesto is crucial. It will shape how people will relate to what you have to say. In particular, it will determine whether you can attract people’s attention to even pay attention to your manifesto.

The ‘Startup Manifesto’ is a good name. But in my opinion, it’s not a great name.

It’s a good name because it describes what it is. But it’s not a great name because it doesn’t fully share the power of the vision they are creating.

Essentially, what the authors are suggesting is that if the governments of the EU fully invested in entrepreneurship and startups then the economic potential would go from 0.4% to a predicted 8% and as high as 18%.

This is not about startups. That’s just how you get there.

Let me say it this way. When you tell your friends you’re going on holiday, it’s unlikely that you will talk only about the type of plane you’ll be riding in to get there. No, it’s more likely you’ll talk about the more exciting thing, which is the destination you’re heading to.

I don’t see this as a black and white rule. There are times when you want to stop something (Stop Uranium mining) so your title and manifesto should reflect that. At other times, it’s more likely that you will focus on the aspiration, the goal, the vision of what the future will look like.

While I love startups and have worked for myself for most of my life, when I read this manifesto the thing that stood out was the possibility of a digital Europe. Or even better ‘Startup You’. (Maybe that’s a bit cute, Startup EU). Or perhaps Startup Europe might work.

Even though this was written in 2013, I wish Australia had a document like this!

PS: I would have added a visual – at the least a visual for the cover of the document.


Derek Sivers – A New Kind of Entrepreneur

Manifesto for Smarter Working

Google AI Principles

Frog Design Manifesto


Frog Design is an international design company


“frog advances the human experience through design.

Since our early days ushering in the era of personal computing, our rallying cry has been ‘form follows emotion.’ Today our work goes beyond individual forms—we design systems of brand, product, and service—but our focus on emotion remains. We strive to create the world as it should be, and our work results in experiences people love.” (website)

Frog Design Manifesto - Part 1


We are fanatical about improving the world
We choreograph cultural change through design
We are not just a business, after 50 years we’re part of the cultural fabric
Our work outlasts movements and fads
Quality is our non-compromising obligation
We strive to change minds, touch hearts and move markets

We are curious, vigilant, expert, cost-driven and aware of the need to save our scarce environment
Our talent is both an art and a science, it’s both business and culture
Our clients are the key to our success (however, we don’t take any b.s. – inside or outside)
We live honestly open and without fear
Humour and spirited fun are the essence of frog

Frog Design Manifesto Part 2



Frog is a world-class design company.

The interesting thing for me about the two manifesto visuals is that they are not consistent with what a company that is perhaps best known for their early work for Apple.

Instead, I see these two manifestos as fitting the typical ‘style’ of a manifesto. Essentially, this is short sharp statements with a mix of fonts in different sizes to create a visual poster.

I was hoping for a unique approach rather than the adoption of what I consider to be a ‘typical’ approach to designing your manifesto visual.

A comparison might be the Stanford Design School Napkin Manifesto. While this might be a bit of a cliche for designs (to draw your ideas on a napkin) it is consistent with the spirit of how design is created.

One thought of what Frog could have done is to have printed their manifesto onto the surface of one of their designed objects. Or perhaps, as a series of photographs with a single core statement on a single design. This would have created a unique series, a great launch event (photograph exhibition) plus a series of images that could be shared and downloaded on social media which could provide greater spread of their ideas and their brand.

At the level of content, there are some great words in this manifesto. For instance: fanatical, choreograph, outlast, non-compromising, touch hearts, move markets, vigilant and spirited.

These presents a lively creative feel to their thoughts.


Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice Manifesto

Stanford Design School Napkin Manifesto

A Design Education Manifesto

Bernadette Jiwa – A Love Note to Entrepreneurs


Bernadette Jiwa is a storytelling expert who has published eight #1 Amazon Bestsellers.


To motivate, inspire and encourage entrepreneurs.

Bernadette Jiwa - A Love Note to Entrepreneurs


A Love Note to Entrepreneurs

Don’t wait for permission

Change something you care about
Touch one person
Make a difference to a handful

Launch ideas form the heart
Build a legacy, not just an empire
Keep your values front and center
Understand why you’re doing this
Remember, it doesn’t have to matter to everyone

Learn how to see the world as it isn’t
Allow possibility to feed your soul
Embrace failure alongside success

Make people your inspiration
Let passion be your master
Make meaning your currency

Never allow fear to get in your way
Know the questions to ask
Don’t be afraid of the answers

If you do anything today, would ‘THIS’ be it?
If not this, then what?



Manifestos come in many different forms.

Many are declarations about what the author wants or aspires to. This might fit that category, albeit in disguise.

Other manifestos are a call to arms to other people. This one definitely fits that – it’s a call to entrepreneurs to keep going.

It stands out because of it’s soft touch – it’s not a set of commandments or rules or even principles. Instead, it’s offered with kindness and love.


Derek Sivers – A New Kind of Entrepreneur

James Altucher – The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires

Opted Out of Life Manifesto

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948.


As a response to the atrocities that happened during World War II, the UN decided their current charter was no sufficient. This declaration of human rights was the updated response.

To create “a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

This declaration is generally viewed to be the foundation of International Human Right Law

UN - Universal Declaration of Human Rights


The manifesto consists of a preamble and 30 Articles. Below is a selection. Download the full list at the UN source link below.

Preamble (Selection)

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. 

Articles (Selection)

Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3 – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4 – No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5 – No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6 – Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7 – All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 10 – Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 13 – (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14 – (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15 – (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 19 – Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 30 – Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


General background on Wikipedia


This is a great example of creating a new context by raising the standards that you hold dear.

During World War II, the allies had adopted the Four Freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

When the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany became apparent, it was concluded that the UN charter did not go far enough.

This declaration was the updated result.

It’s also worth noting that this declaration has become the basis for international law.

International Human Rights Day – as celebrated on December 10 – marks the date that this charter was adopted by the UN.


UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN Environment Program – Positive Impact Manifesto

Miyamoto Mysahi – 21 Rules to live you day

Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution


“We are Fashion Revolution. We are designers, producers, makers, workers and consumers. We are academics, writers, business leaders, brands, retailers, trade unions and policymakers. We are the industry and the public. We are world citizens. We are a movement and a community. We are you.”


“We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.

This is our dream…”

Fashion Revolution Manifesto - Sign the Manifesto


Fashion provides dignified work, from conception to creation to catwalk. It does not enslave, endanger, exploit, overwork, harass, abuse or discriminate against anyone. Fashion liberates worker and wearer and empowers everyone to stand up for their rights.

Fashion provides fair and equal pay. It enriches the livelihood of everyone working across the industry, from farm to shop floor. Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fulfils aspiration.

Fashion gives people a voice, making it possible to speak up without fear, join together in unity without repression and negotiate for better conditions at work and across communities.

Fashion respects culture and heritage. It fosters, celebrates and rewards skills and craftsmanship. It recognises creativity as its strongest asset. Fashion never appropriates without giving due credit or steals without permission. Fashion honours the artisan.

Fashion stands for solidarity, inclusiveness and democracy, regardless of race, class, gender, age, shape or ability. It champions diversity as crucial for success.

Fashion conserves and restores the environment. It does not deplete precious resources, degrade our soil, pollute our air and water or harm our health. Fashion protects the welfare of all living things and safeguards our diverse ecosystems.

Fashion never unnecessarily destroys or discards but mindfully redesigns and recuperates in a circular way. Fashion is repaired, reused, recycled and upcycled. Our wardrobes and landfills do not overflow with clothes that are coveted but not cherished, bought but not kept.

Fashion is transparent and accountable. Fashion embraces clarity and does not hide behind complexity nor rely upon trade secrets to derive value. Anyone, anywhere can find out how, where, by whom and under what conditions their clothing is made.

Fashion measures success by more than just sales and profits. Fashion places equal value on financial growth, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

Fashion lives to express, delight, reflect, protest, comfort, commiserate and share. Fashion never subjugates, denigrates, degrades, marginalises or compromises. Fashion celebrates life.



This is a great piece of work.

There are four outstanding things that I suggest you include in your manifesto.

One, the manifesto starts with a statement of community: this is who we are. It’s specific and it’s broad. (See Creators above)

Two, there is a clear three sentence concise statement of their purpose. It’s says this is our domain (We love fashion) but this is not working and we can no longer stand by and let this continue (But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.) (See Purpose above)

Three, it presents a strong and clear ten-point manifesto. While the ten points cover a lot of territory they also have a more specific meaning when you apply them specifically to fashion. This also points to level of influence you can have in the decisions you make about what you buy and what you wear.

Four, a clear call to action in the form of ‘Sign the manifesto’. (See image).

If you want a framework for your manifesto you could do well to model this one. Best of all, it’s presented on a single web page.


Council of Fashion Designers of America – Design Manifesto

The Slow Clothing Manifesto

Yes Manifesto

The Seven Rules of Done


Geoff McDonald, author of Done and curator of


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


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!


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


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.


Geoff McDonald, The Manifesto Manifesto

Geoff McDonald, The Expert Manifesto

The Cult of Done