Have you ever read the U.S. Declaration of Independence? It is as much an official document to the King of England as it is a case for change to the rest of the fledgling country it created. (Click the image to the right to read the full text.)
It’s a great model and anyone who would like to compel people to break away from the current state of things. Here are the key parts of the document:
Connection to values
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Acknowledgment that the status quo is easier
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
Reasons why the current state can’t be tolerated any further
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The bulk of the document lists a number of egregious offenses by the King, that anyone who valued freedom would find appalling.
Recognition that what we’re doing isn’t working
“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”
Clear vision of the future
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”
Statement of leadership resolve
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Wow. Thomas Jefferson sure knew how to craft a case for change.
If your organization wrote a Declaration of Independence from its status quo, what would it say?