One of the most high profile engagements for Gerry Johnson was with The UK Labour Party. When Tony Blair became leader of the labour Party in the 1990s he set about his programme of “modernisation”.
A pivotal part of creating a party of government was to the need to change the cultural fabric of the party itself. The managing of how this should be achieved fell to the then General Secretary of the Labour Party, Party, Tom Sawyer (now Lord Sawyer). He worked with Gerry to design two workshops to identify the cultural legacy of the party and identify what, if anything might need to be done to change it. These workshops led to the recognition that the cultural legacy of the party was one of “opposition” and that that had often taken form in opposition to Labour governnments. They also led to the identification of quite specific ways that the p[arty needed to change.
As Lord Sawyer explains: "The workshops we did with Gerry Johnson uncovered some of the central challenges the Labour Party had to face and address in being a party of government…..We were able to get on the table issues that otherwise would not have been raised and would not have been tackled….In my view those workshops were one of the main turning points in establishing the success of the Labour Party in the 1990s."