Deep inefficacies are surfacing increasingly in public or corporate systems. They continue with the full knowledge of everyone as a result of neglecting foresight, timely stakeholder alignment processes and creative solution finding. They mostly result from an over-emphasis on rules and procedures and a neglect of insight to inter-related contextual issues. Fault lines neglect leads to multiple costs which spread rapidly through self-contained organisations and undermines them.
Some recent examples.
The monetary crisis of 2008 has been described as a ‘monumental, collective intellectual error’ (Sir Nicholas MacPerson, the British Treasury top official), for which millions of ordinary people pay in various ways, with destabilizing political consequences.
Yet some countries seem to have weathered this storm much better and they have avoided the most serious fall-out in terms of unemployment and social upheaval.
The European Union was warned years ahead about the oncoming refugee and migration crisis by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. But officials did not analyse the emerging new context versus the existing regulatory arrangements, until they de facto collapsed.
However, some international public and private organisations cope with large scale disaster in effective ways, saving the lives of millions.
Some of the most spectacular corporate failures in recent years were known years ahead, but nothing was done and independent thinkers were sacked. Deep flaws in banks in some countries existed for years but nothing was done about it.
At the other hand, there are corporations large and small which design agile and sustainable strategies and provide a triple win for shareholders, stakeholders and societies in which they operate.
The complaints of many industries about the regulatory burden heaped upon them by the European Union and by its Member States are in practice a result of outdated culture and policy and rule making mechanisms.
Yet there are regulatory architectures which stimulate research and innovation and deliver tangible economic and societal added value.