The post WW2 era we grew up in provided the best economic conditions the world has ever known. The baby boom population explosion, of which I am at the tail end of, combined with vast sequential gains in productivity to create the ‘miracles’ of economies in the U.S., Japan, Germany, and China among others, or so it seemed. Read More
An article in the New York Times reminds us once again that without a carefully crafted and highly disciplined governance architecture in place, perceived misalignment of personal interests between individuals and organizations across cultural ecosystems can lead to catastrophic decisions………While not unexpected by those who study crises, rather yet another case where brave individuals raised red flags only to be shouted down by the crowd, the article does provide instructive granularity that should guide senior executives, directors, and policy makers in planning organizational models and enterprise systems. (click to continue to article) Read More
Given the systemic nature and scale of the financial crisis, and in consideration of the poor ongoing economic conditions, it’s clear that the industry, political process, and regulators have all fallen short of achieving the individual mission of each, particularly in consideration of current technological capabilities.
For the past several months financial institutions have been trying to convince regulators that they should not be labeled a Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI). The process of implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank law in the U.S. has resulted in spin offs in an attempt to avoid increased U.S. regulation, while the new global rules for multi-national banks on top of Basel III, including surcharges and increased capital ratios, is resulting in a comprehensive rethink of the fundamental assumptions surrounding the global banking model. Read More
If the financial crisis confirmed anything, it is that the majority of humans are followers, not leaders, and that leaders throughout our society have yet to capture the significance of technology to their members and organizations.
One of the primary causal factors cited by thought leaders in studying crises is poor leadership, to include those who accept misaligned or conflicted interests. When we see “skimming off the top” in others we label it corruption, yet few see it in themselves at all, or choose to ignore it, resulting in the same outcome. While balance is obviously needed for survival—indeed managing that balance well is key for modern leaders, when we over-emphasize short-term profits, we then elevate the influence and power of those who are skilled at winning very short-term battles, rather than long-term wars. I have personally experienced that strategy in organizations and observed it in many others; it doesn’t end well. Read More
Above is a screen capture of an internal Kyield document that displays a graphic and text illustration of the high costs of data silos to individual organizations, regions, and society based on actual cases we have studied; in some case based on public information and in others private, confidential information. This is intended for a slide-show type of presentation so does not go into great detail. Suffice to say that human suffering, lives lost, and wars that could have been prevented that were not are inseparably intertwined with economics and ecology, which is why I have viewed this issue as one ultimately of sustainability, particularly when considering the obstacles of silos to scientific discovery, innovation, and learning as well as crisis prevention.
A topic of considerable discussion, debate, and thought for a great many of us long before a series of ever larger crises, the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) chose the theme of complexity in regulation for their annual meeting, which just concluded. I was fortunate enough to attend last year’s 25th anniversary meeting at SFI, but this year I was only able to view the final full day via webcast, which was excellent. Prior to sharing my thoughts on the important topic of simplifying regulation in a future post, which will be covered more extensively in my book in progress, I want to focus a bit on SFI.
The official SFI about page can be found here, although having written many of these descriptions myself; I’ve yet to write or read one that captures the essence of the organization, people, or contributions, so please allow the liberty of a few additional lines in first person.
I have been following SFI regularly for 15 years, and since moving to Santa Fe nearly two years ago have had many interactions. SFI essentially pioneered complexity as a discipline, but is also a proponent of what I now refer to in my own work as a mega disciplinary approach to truth seeking, without which frankly many researchers and their cultures can become blinded.
One of several strengths of SFI is their ability to draw from a very broad universe of scholars, each of whom is a leading expert in a specific discipline, but also shares an interest in both complexity theory—which affects everything else, as well as the need to work across disciplines in order to learn from each.
The intimate size and environment of SFI is I believe why so many leading scholars contribute and engage. After living in Santa Fe, visiting the campus and attending multiple events, with a great many exchanges with larger institutions, I can certainly understand the appeal for permanent faculty, visiting scholars, post docs, and business network members. Read More
After struggling with a very difficult decision, we have decided not to attend the mHealth summit later this year hosted by the Foundation for the National Institute of Health. To the best of my knowledge, the Kyield healthcare platform is the most novel in the world relative to meeting the mission and objectives of the Summit, but their policies contain a fatal flaw that may prevent those who engage from achieving an economically sustainable model, without which it will be impossible to achieve their stated goals. The applicants for the mHealth technology presentations were required to be free to consumers. Read More
I would add that we also cannot afford, nor should we, to allow large numbers of mistakes like doctor’s handwriting on prescriptions continue to kill people. Similarly, we should not continue to promote by our apathy, or allow lobbyists to win in politics, over now curable diseases such as misinterpretation of data or lack of interoperability. We can’t afford it economically, or I suggest morally, for it is no longer necessary. — MM Read More
As I scanned mass media’s response to the latest terrorist incident, I found very little evidence from representatives of our democracy either in government or journalism who understand the complex issues involved with prevention of systemic crises. The nature of our political system is that we often hear from political appointees rather than functional experts. Compounding the problem is that our mass media culture usually considers experts only from mainstream institutions, which are in fact where many of the crises have been born in recent years. Read More