211 – Unpredictability, interdependence, complexity and chaos – why councils need to adopt the Third Principle: optimisation.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                                                              1200 words

the third principle

I recently rediscovered a book that I bought 17 years ago when it was first published. It is one of those useful management books that is an absorbing read when you buy it, and then it quietly sits on your shelf waiting for the day you really need it. It is now a book for the times with rate capping coming into Victorian local government.

Neville Lake’s central idea is that management practice has three fundamental organising principles – effectiveness, efficiency and optimisation. He believes that an organisation can be both effective and efficient but be sub-optimised. This leads to only 80% of its potential being realised.

The other 20% is trapped in processes that don’t work, management models that don’t deliver, and interactions with customers that fail to deliver expected value.

Having worked in local government for 30 years, I have to agree that we are sub-optimised organisations. Continue reading

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177 – Decision making: some tips for local government.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         420 words

HBR september 2015 cover

There have been a number of posts on decision making in a recent series. This post is a quick overview of further advice available from four Harvard Business Review articles in the September 2015 edition; ‘From ‘Economic Man” to behavioural Economics’ by Justin Fox; ‘Leaders as Decision Architects’ by John Beshears and Francesca Gino; ‘Fooled by Experience’ by Emre Soyer and Robin M. Hogarth; and ‘Outsmart Your Own Biases’ by Jack B. Soll, Katherine L. Milkman, and John W. Payne.

Read them if the ideas are relevant and potentially useful to you. I have simply cut the main tables from them and provided a brief overview of the context.

The first table is from the article ‘From ‘Economic Man” to behavioural Economics’ by Justin Fox. Continue reading