Tradition and Evolution

An old image of a royal coronation ceremony from many years ago

Some thoughts on the Coronation 

For the first time in many of our lives, we have witnessed a Coronation in the UK this weekend. There has been much written on the tradition, pomp and circumstance of the proceedings, the security required, the pro’s and con’s of democracy alongside royalty, and the juxtaposition of the regal ceremony against a backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis.  

What struck us most was not the attention-grabbing headlines, but in fact the gradual evolution of a 1,000 year old ceremony and the British monarchy. Since the first documented coronation of William the Conqueror in December 1066, things have undoubtedly evolved. Granted, there are some long-held traditions which continue to be included in the proceedings but many elements have experienced subtle, or more significant, changes over the years. The monarchy has been required to react to the environment around them – could we refer to them as agile? – whilst retaining the overarching construct that constitutional laws demand. 

There are some clear similarities between organisations and the monarchy. Many organisations have been forced to evolve and change over the years in order to remain competitive, but still hold onto some of their key traditions and hold true to their values. Does the phrase, “because we’ve always done it like that” ring any bells?  

Hierarchical structures are the most obvious similarity. They are alive and kicking in most organisations, including those with ‘flat’ structures. An ultimate decision-making unit is required, even if we now see far more collaboration and discussion before decisions are made. Processes are often dictated by industry regulations, rather than because they ‘work’ for the organisation – our hands can be somewhat tied by what the law requires. And organisational, or constitutional, changes can often come about as a result of external pressures…. 

Agility and evolution are key to ongoing high-performance. The question is, how will the monarchy evolve over the coming years? We’ll have to wait and see! 

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