The Mandate


The Mandate matters

I’ve patented a new widget…

The Mandate says what you want so it pays to take it seriously.


You’ve patented a widget, you obviously want to do something with it, and you will need help. What do you want to happen next? Here are three alternative mandates.

I’ve patented a new widget:

  1. It’s going to be good. Who’s with me?
  2. Build me your finest widget making machine
  3. Set me up a profitable widget business

Which one comes closest to what you actually want to achieve?

What you get for your Mandate.

  1. Who’s with me?

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay 

A bunch of people talking about widgets

You want support but you haven’t defined any objective and you’re not leading.

The vague mandate gets you a bunch of widget enthusiasts but no tangible results. It’s going to be some time before they make anything. And by that time, it might not look like your widget, and you might no longer be in control.


  1. Build me a machine.

Image by Paul Reynolds from Pixabay 

A machine and a pilot production run of widgets

You obviously want widgets, and you assume the reason why is obvious.

You didn’t think this one through fully. You get the machine you asked for. It might be a very good machine that can make huge quantities of fine widgets. Once it’s working properly, the engineers will move on to their next machine. You have no-one to run yours, so you won’t get much more than a pilot batch of widgets.


  1. Set up a business.

Image by falco from Pixabay 

A factory complex

This mandate has got a long-term purpose and it recognises that there’s a lot to be done.

In this case the programme covered the whole piece. Discovery did the market research to confirm that widgets would be profitable. Alpha and Beta built a whole profitable enduring business.


As Benefits Managers, we're always saying, "Start with the end in mind." The mandate is your first chance to get across your idea of what that end will be. That’s why the mandate matters.

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