Tag Archives: Change

Governare. E non sapere cosa accadrà di @vitalbaa su newslist.it di @masechi DA LEGGERE!

Seconda “puntata” dell’interessante analisi di Vitalba Azzolini: la tecnica e la politica non si incrociano e la misurazione è un’opinione … tutto conduce alla creazione all’italiana del suddito inconsapevole.

La List di Mario Sechi si arricchisce www.newslist.it

In una “puntata” precedente (https://carlofavaretti.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/fatto-analisi-impatto-di-vitalbaa-su-newslist-it-di-masechi-da-leggere/) qui su List ho provato a spiegare la “cultura” degli impatti: vale a dire quel metodo di regolamentazione che impone al governo e ad altre autorità di definire con trasparenza gli obiettivi perseguiti, di valutare ex ante comparativamente gli effetti di diverse opzioni normative (inclusa quella di non intervento), di fissare indicatori di risultato per vagliare ex post se quella prescelta è stata efficace, nonché di redigere un’apposita relazione con tali contenuti. Non è solo un metodo di better regulation, ma anche il modo per inchiodare i governanti alle responsabilità conseguenti ai propri annunci, vincolandoli a rendicontarne i risultati. Sarà per questo che AIR e VIR (analisi e verifica di impatto della regolamentazione) piacciono poco a politici e supporter, nonostante siano obbligatorie ex lege da anni. Detto ciò, può essere utile esporre i settori in cui l’analisi va fatta, verificando se e come “funzioni”: insomma, una verifica di impatto sull’analisi di impatto, e non è un gioco di parole.

Ai sensi di legge, la valutazione ex ante degli impatti va svolta secondo direttrici ben precise: se la futura normativa ha fra i suoi destinatari piccole e medie imprese, ne vanno analizzati gli eventuali effetti distorsivi o sproporzionati rispetto alle imprese di più grandi dimensioni; inoltre, devono essere misurati eventuali nuovi adempimenti a carico di cittadini e imprese; serve altresì stimare l’incidenza delle diverse opzioni di regolazione sulle dinamiche concorrenziali del mercato, scegliendo quella che le sacrifica meno; in caso di recepimento di normative comunitarie, occorre verificare che non siano introdotti obblighi superiori a quelli richiesti da tali normative (c.d. gold-plating). E’ importante poi valutare preventivamente anche le modalità attuative – strumenti, risorse e mezzi – dell’intervento di regolamentazione. Questo è quanto espressamente (e teoricamente) prescritto. Ma i legislatori ne tengono realmente conto?

Partiamo dal primo punto. È’ necessario esaminare che nuove disposizioni non impongano pesi burocratici gravanti in misura maggiore sulle piccole e medie imprese, poiché “l’evidenza empirica mostra in modo inequivocabile come gli oneri (…) legati all’adempimento di una norma siano, in proporzione, molto più elevati per le PMI rispetto alle imprese di taglia media e grande” (Formez PA). Al riguardo, l’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato osserva che “il cammino intrapreso verso l’adozione di regolazioni che ‘pensano in piccolo’ potrà produrre risultati positivi per (…) le piccole e medie imprese, a condizione che i modelli di analisi d’impatto vengano attuati in modo concreto e sostanziale”. E, infatti, l’UE ha predisposto da tempo un test (c.d. test PMI) utile a stimare gli impatti – appunto – degli adempimenti amministrativi sulle imprese di dimensioni minori. Ma di questo test non sembra esservi traccia nelle relazioni AIR nazionali. Le conseguenze sono palesi: un recente studio di Assolombarda in tema di oneri amministrativi nei settori ambiente, edilizia, fisco ecc. dimostra che i costi delle relative procedure (in termini di percentuale sul fatturato e di ore per addetto) continuano a incidere più sulle PMI che sulle grandi imprese. E di studi che attestano queste evidenze ve ne sono comunque molti altri.

Circa il secondo punto, cioè la stima – in sede di elaborazione di nuove normative – degli oneri burocratici gravanti su cittadini e imprese (con quantificazione dei relativi costi), essa è funzionale al c.d. budget regolatorio, previsto ex lege dal 2012. Si tratta di un meccanismo di compensazione c.d. one-in-one-out, per cui non possono essere introdotti nuovi oneri amministrativi senza contestualmente ridurne o eliminarne altri. Questo principio viene osservato? La risposta la fornisce il Consiglio di Stato, il quale pochi mesi fa ha rilevato che, mentre in altri Paesi si stanno sfoltendo molti pesi, elaborando sistemi one-in-two-out o addirittura one-in-three-out, la regola in Italia è pressoché ignorata. Rimando a quanto ho scritto altrove, aggiungendo che, nonostante recenti misure tese a semplificazioni varie, permane “una grave incertezza sul regime amministrativo delle singole attività, sulla stabilità dei titoli abilitativi (impliciti o presunti), sui tempi di definizione delle procedure” (C. Deodato), nonché su molto altro.

Il terzo punto è il full competition assessment, cioè la quantificazione degli impatti concorrenziali, utile a evitare ostacoli ingiustificati all’esercizio delle attività economiche: ma chi l’ha visto? E’ lo stesso Nucleo AIR presso la presidenza del Consiglio ad attestarlo: in sede di elaborazione di nuove regolamentazioni, ci si limita a svolgere “considerazioni apodittiche sull’intervento come ausilio alla competitività e nessuna considerazione specifica laddove l’intervento limiti o distorca il mercato”. Serve altro per dimostrare il senso (mancante) dei regolatori nazionali per la competizione fra privati? Forse sì: ad esempio, ricordare il non lusinghiero 54° posto che l’Italia occupa attualmente nell’Indice Libertà Economiche elaborato dal Fraser Institute (era al 24° posto nel 2000); o la circostanza che per partorire la prima (rachitica) normativa sulla concorrenza sono serviti 8 anni dalla legge istitutiva e circa 900 giorni di discussione.

Per quanto poi attiene al divieto di gold-plating, nelle relazioni AIR i regolatori dovrebbero dare conto del fatto che, nella trasposizione di discipline comunitarie nell’ordinamento interno, non hanno immotivatamente previsto oneri, requisiti, procedure ecc. più gravosi di quelli contenuti nelle discipline medesime. Questo limite viene rispettato? I dati empirici sono chiari: “il 32% (o 3,5% del PIL) dei costi amministrativi di provenienza europea a carico di un’impresa sono da ascriversi, per la stessa Commissione, all’inefficace recepimento del diritto europeo negli Stati membri, e il 4% di essi al solo gold-plating” (E. Ojetti). Inoltre, basta leggere qualche relazione di analisi di impatto nazionale per accertare che non viene fatto un esame attento e puntuale sul gold-plating e che, pertanto, il rischio di violazione è molto alto.

Infine, non mi dilungherò sulla valutazione di strumenti e modalità di implementazione di nuove discipline, rimandando a quanto scritto altrove: in sintesi, come può pensarsi che qualcuno la svolga ex ante, se in Italia non esiste un’autorità preposta a verificare ex post l’effettiva attuazione di “politiche” e relative normative? Né mi dilungherò su analisi di impatto riguardanti profili quali il genere, la salute ecc., svolte in altri Paesi: a cosa servirebbe, se nel nostro le AIR non affrontano neanche quei pochi profili già previsti? A questo punto concludo. Le domande retoriche stanno diventando un po’ troppe.

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Che cos’è un leader: tutto dipende dalla definizione di leadership

Interessante articolo di Travis Bradberry su Inc. Author, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 

 

What makes someone a leader anyway?

Such a simple question, and yet it continues to vex some of the best thinkers in business. I’ve written books on leadership, and yet it’s a rare thing to actually pause to define leadership.

Let’s start with what leadership is not …

Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Too many consider a company’s leadership to refer to the senior most executives in the organization. They are just that, senior executives. Leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay grade. Hopefully you find it there, but there are no guarantees.

Leadership has nothing to do with titles. Similar to the previous point, having a C-level title doesn’t automatically make you a leader. You don’t need a title to lead. You can be a leader in your workplace, your neighborhood, or your family, all without having a title.

Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes. Say the word leader and most people think of a domineering, take-charge, charismatic individual. People often think of icons from history such as George S. Patton or Abraham Lincoln. But leadership isn’t an adjective. We don’t need to be extroverted or charismatic to practice leadership. And those with charisma don’t automatically lead.

Leadership isn’t management. This is the big one. Leadership and management are not synonymous. You have 15 people in your downline and P&L responsibility? Good for you; hopefully, you are a good manager. Good management is needed. Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things. Managers spend most of their time managing things. Leaders lead people.

So, again, what makes a leader?

Let’s see how some of the most respected business thinkers of our time define leadership, and let’s consider what’s wrong with their definitions.

Peter Drucker: “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”

Really? This instance of tautology is so simplistic as to be dangerous. A new Army captain is put in the command of 200 soldiers. He never leaves his room or utters a word to the men and women in his unit. Perhaps routine orders are given through a subordinate. By default, his troops have to follow orders. Is the captain really a leader? Commander, yes; leader, no. Drucker is of course a brilliant thinker, but his definition is too simple.

Warren Bennis: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Every spring you have a vision for a garden, and with lots of work carrots and tomatoes become a reality. Are you a leader? No, you’re a gardener. Bennis’s definition seems to have forgotten “others.”

Bill Gates: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

This definition includes “others,” and empowerment is a good thing. But to what end? We’ve seen many empowered “others” in life, from rioting hooligans to Google workers who were so misaligned with the rest of the company they found themselves unemployed. Gates’s definition lacks goals and vision.

John Maxwell: “Leadership is influence–nothing more, nothing less.”

I like minimalism, but this reduction is too much. A robber with a gun has influence over his victim. A manager has the power to fire team members, which provides a lot of influence. But does this influence make a robber or a manager a leader? Maxwell’s definition omits the source of influence.

So what is leadership?

Definition: Leadership is a process of social influence that maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a greater good.

Notice the key elements of this definition:

  • Leadership stems from social influence, not authority or power.
  • Leadership requires others, and that implies they don’t need to be “direct reports.”
  • No mention of personality traits, attributes, or even a title; there are many styles, many paths to effective leadership.
  • It includes a greater good, not influence with no intended outcome.

Leadership is a mindset in action. So don’t wait for the title. Leadership isn’t something that anyone can give you–you have to earn it and claim it for yourself.

So what do you think of my definition of leadership? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Special thanks to Kevin Kruse for help with this post.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Il potere magico del fallimento: perché la sconfitta ci rende liberi

“Io non perdo mai. Certe volte vinco, altre volte imparo.” Questa frase di Nelson Mandela è riportata nella quarta di copertina di un aureo libretto di Charles Pépin: Il potere magico del fallimento: perché la sconfitta ci rende liberi edito da Garzanti.

La vera crescita è sempre costruita attraverso errori, sconfitte e delusioni.

Il messaggio dell’autore è profondo: per diventare quelli che siamo ed esprimere il nostro potenziale dobbiamo accettare l’esperienza del rischio e non limitarci a scegliere tra alternative note e rassicuranti.

Molto interessante è l’analisi che egli fa sulla cultura francese (molto simile a quella italiana secondo me) rispetto a quella anglosassone, in particolare, americana. Per francesi (e italiani) il fallimento è una colpa di cui vergognarsi. Per gli americani è un’esperienza e un’opportunità.

Una lettura interessante e stimolante

 

The Dying Art of Disagreement @WRicciardi @drsilenzi @dr_enricorosso

Pubblicato ieri sul New York Times: a must read!

The Dying Art of Disagreement

SEPTEMBER 24, 2017

Bret Stephens
Bret Stephens

This is the text of a lecture delivered at the Lowy Institute Media Award dinner in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Sept. 23. The award recognizes excellence in Australian foreign affairs journalism.

Let me begin with thanks to the Lowy Institute for bringing me all the way to Sydney and doing me the honor of hosting me here this evening.

I’m aware of the controversy that has gone with my selection as your speaker. I respect the wishes of the Colvin family and join in honoring Mark Colvin’s memory as a courageous foreign correspondent and an extraordinary writer and broadcaster. And I’d particularly like to thank Michael Fullilove for not rescinding the invitation.

This has become the depressing trend on American university campuses, where the roster of disinvited speakers and forced cancellations includes former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, former Harvard University President Larry Summers, actor Alec Baldwin, human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, DNA co-discoverer James Watson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, filmmaker Michael Moore, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and liberal Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen, to name just a few.

So illustrious is the list that, on second thought, I’m beginning to regret that you didn’t disinvite me after all.

The title of my talk tonight is “The Dying Art of Disagreement.” This is a subject that is dear to me — literally dear — since disagreement is the way in which I have always earned a living. Disagreement is dear to me, too, because it is the most vital ingredient of any decent society.

To say the words, “I agree” — whether it’s agreeing to join an organization, or submit to a political authority, or subscribe to a religious faith — may be the basis of every community.

But to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin; Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky — such are the ranks of those who disagree.

And the problem, as I see it, is that we’re failing at the task.

This is a puzzle. At least as far as far as the United States is concerned, Americans have rarely disagreed more in recent decades.

We disagree about racial issues, bathroom policies, health care laws, and, of course, the 45th president. We express our disagreements in radio and cable TV rants in ways that are increasingly virulent; street and campus protests that are increasingly violent; and personal conversations that are increasingly embittering.

This is yet another age in which we judge one another morally depending on where we stand politically.

Nor is this just an impression of the moment. Extensive survey data show that Republicans are much more right-leaning than they were twenty years ago, Democrats much more left-leaning, and both sides much more likely to see the other as a mortal threat to the nation’s welfare.

The polarization is geographic, as more people live in states and communities where their neighbors are much likelier to share their politics.

The polarization is personal: Fully 50 percent of Republicans would not want their child to marry a Democrat, and nearly a third of Democrats return the sentiment. Interparty marriage has taken the place of interracial marriage as a family taboo.

Finally the polarization is electronic and digital, as Americans increasingly inhabit the filter bubbles of news and social media that correspond to their ideological affinities. We no longer just have our own opinions. We also have our separate “facts,” often the result of what different media outlets consider newsworthy. In the last election, fully 40 percent of Trump voters named Fox News as their chief source of news.

Thanks a bunch for that one, Australia.

It’s usually the case that the more we do something, the better we are at it. Instead, we’re like Casanovas in reverse: the more we do it, the worse we’re at it. Our disagreements may frequently hoarsen our voices, but they rarely sharpen our thinking, much less change our minds.

It behooves us to wonder why.

* * *

Thirty years ago, in 1987, a philosophy professor at the University of Chicago named Allan Bloom — at the time best known for his graceful translations of Plato’s “Republic” and Rousseau’s “Emile” — published a learned polemic about the state of higher education in the United States. It was called “The Closing of the American Mind.”

The book appeared when I was in high school, and I struggled to make my way through a text thick with references to Plato, Weber, Heidegger and Strauss. But I got the gist — and the gist was that I’d better enroll in the University of Chicago and read the great books. That is what I did.

What was it that one learned through a great books curriculum? Certainly not “conservatism” in any contemporary American sense of the term. We were not taught to become American patriots, or religious pietists, or to worship what Rudyard Kipling called “the Gods of the Market Place.” We were not instructed in the evils of Marxism, or the glories of capitalism, or even the superiority of Western civilization.

As I think about it, I’m not sure we were taught anything at all. What we did was read books that raised serious questions about the human condition, and which invited us to attempt to ask serious questions of our own. Education, in this sense, wasn’t a “teaching” with any fixed lesson. It was an exercise in interrogation.

To listen and understand; to question and disagree; to treat no proposition as sacred and no objection as impious; to be willing to entertain unpopular ideas and cultivate the habits of an open mind — this is what I was encouraged to do by my teachers at the University of Chicago.

It’s what used to be called a liberal education.

The University of Chicago showed us something else: that every great idea is really just a spectacular disagreement with some other great idea.

Socrates quarrels with Homer. Aristotle quarrels with Plato. Locke quarrels with Hobbes and Rousseau quarrels with them both. Nietzsche quarrels with everyone. Wittgenstein quarrels with himself.

These quarrels are never personal. Nor are they particularly political, at least in the ordinary sense of politics. Sometimes they take place over the distance of decades, even centuries.

Most importantly, they are never based on a misunderstanding. On the contrary, the disagreements arise from perfect comprehension; from having chewed over the ideas of your intellectual opponent so thoroughly that you can properly spit them out.

In other words, to disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say.

“The Closing of the American Mind” took its place in the tradition of these quarrels. Since the 1960s it had been the vogue in American universities to treat the so-called “Dead White European Males” of the Western canon as agents of social and political oppression. Allan Bloom insisted that, to the contrary, they were the best possible instruments of spiritual liberation.

He also insisted that to sustain liberal democracy you needed liberally educated people. This, at least, should not have been controversial. For free societies to function, the idea of open-mindedness can’t simply be a catchphrase or a dogma. It needs to be a personal habit, most of all when it comes to preserving an open mind toward those with whom we disagree.

* * *

That habit was no longer being exercised much 30 years ago. And if you’ve followed the news from American campuses in recent years, things have become a lot worse.

According to a new survey from the Brookings Institution, a plurality of college students today — fully 44 percent — do not believe the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects so-called “hate speech,” when of course it absolutely does. More shockingly, a narrow majority of students — 51 percent — think it is “acceptable” for a student group to shout down a speaker with whom they disagree. An astonishing 20 percent also agree that it’s acceptable to use violence to prevent a speaker from speaking.

These attitudes are being made plain nearly every week on one college campus or another.

There are speakers being shouted down by organized claques of hecklers — such was the experience of Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine. Or speakers who require hundreds of thousands of dollars of security measures in order to appear on campus — such was the experience of conservative pundit Ben Shapiro earlier this month at Berkeley. Or speakers who are physically barred from reaching the auditorium — that’s what happened to Heather MacDonald at Claremont McKenna College in April. Or teachers who are humiliated by their students and hounded from their positions for allegedly hurting students’ feelings — that’s what happened to Erika and Nicholas Christakis of Yale.

And there is violence. Listen to a description from Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger of what happened when she invited the libertarian scholar Charles Murray to her school to give a talk in March:

The protesters succeeded in shutting down the lecture. We were forced to move to another site and broadcast our discussion via live stream, while activists who had figured out where we were banged on the windows and set off fire alarms. Afterward, as Dr. Murray and I left the building . . . a mob charged us.

Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm to shield him and to make sure we stayed together, the crowd turned on me. Someone pulled my hair, while others were shoving me. I feared for my life. Once we got into the car, protesters climbed on it, hitting the windows and rocking the vehicle whenever we stopped to avoid harming them. I am still wearing a neck brace, and spent a week in a dark room to recover from a concussion caused by the whiplash.

Middlebury is one of the most prestigious liberal-arts colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate of just 16 percent and tuition fees of nearly $50,000 a year. How does an elite institution become a factory for junior totalitarians, so full of their own certitudes that they could indulge their taste for bullying and violence?

There’s no one answer. What’s clear is that the mis-education begins early. I was raised on the old-fashioned view that sticks and stones could break my bones but words would never hurt me. But today there’s a belief that since words can cause stress, and stress can have physiological effects, stressful words are tantamount to a form of violence. This is the age of protected feelings purchased at the cost of permanent infantilization.

The mis-education continues in grade school. As the Brookings findings indicate, younger Americans seem to have no grasp of what our First Amendment says, much less of the kind of speech it protects. This is a testimony to the collapse of civics education in the United States, creating the conditions that make young people uniquely susceptible to demagogy of the left- or right-wing varieties.

Then we get to college, where the dominant mode of politics is identity politics, and in which the primary test of an argument isn’t the quality of the thinking but the cultural, racial, or sexual standing of the person making it. As a woman of color I think X. As a gay man I think Y. As a person of privilege I apologize for Z. This is the baroque way Americans often speak these days. It is a way of replacing individual thought — with all the effort that actual thinking requires — with social identification — with all the attitude that attitudinizing requires.

In recent years, identity politics have become the moated castles from which we safeguard our feelings from hurt and our opinions from challenge. It is our “safe space.” But it is a safe space of a uniquely pernicious kind — a safe space fromthought, rather than a safe space for thought, to borrow a line I recently heard from Salman Rushdie.

Another consequence of identity politics is that it has made the distance between making an argument and causing offense terrifyingly short. Any argument that can be cast as insensitive or offensive to a given group of people isn’t treated as being merely wrong. Instead it is seen as immoral, and therefore unworthy of discussion or rebuttal.

The result is that the disagreements we need to have — and to have vigorously — are banished from the public square before they’re settled. People who might otherwise join a conversation to see where it might lead them choose instead to shrink from it, lest they say the “wrong” thing and be accused of some kind of political -ism or -phobia. For fear of causing offense, they forego the opportunity to be persuaded.

Take the arguments over same-sex marriage, which you are now debating in Australia. My own views in favor of same-sex marriage are well known, and I hope the Yes’s wins by a convincing margin.

But if I had to guess, I suspect the No’s will exceed whatever they are currently polling. That’s because the case for same-sex marriage is too often advanced not by reason, but merely by branding every opponent of it as a “bigot” — just because they are sticking to an opinion that was shared across the entire political spectrum only a few years ago. Few people like outing themselves as someone’s idea of a bigot, so they keep their opinions to themselves even when speaking to pollsters. That’s just what happened last year in the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election, and look where we are now.

If you want to make a winning argument for same-sex marriage, particularly against conservative opponents, make it on a conservative foundation: As a matter of individual freedom, and as an avenue toward moral responsibility and social respectability. The No’s will have a hard time arguing with that. But if you call them morons and Neanderthals, all you’ll get in return is their middle finger or their clenched fist.

One final point about identity politics: It’s a game at which two can play. In the United States, the so-called “alt-right” justifies its white-identity politics in terms that are coyly borrowed from the progressive left. One of the more dismaying features of last year’s election was the extent to which “white working class” became a catchall identity for people whose travails we were supposed to pity but whose habits or beliefs we were not supposed to criticize. The result was to give the Trump base a moral pass it did little to earn.

* * *

So here’s where we stand: Intelligent disagreement is the lifeblood of any thriving society. Yet we in the United States are raising a younger generation who have never been taught either the how or the why of disagreement, and who seem to think that free speech is a one-way right: Namely, their right to disinvite, shout down or abuse anyone they dislike, lest they run the risk of listening to that person — or even allowing someone else to listen. The results are evident in the parlous state of our universities, and the frayed edges of our democracies.

Can we do better?

This is supposed to be a lecture on the media, and I’d like to conclude this talk with a word about the role that editors and especially publishers can play in ways that might improve the state of public discussion rather than just reflect and accelerate its decline.

I began this talk by noting that Americans have rarely disagreed so vehemently about so much. On second thought, this isn’t the whole truth.

Yes, we disagree constantly. But what makes our disagreements so toxic is that we refuse to make eye contact with our opponents, or try to see things as they might, or find some middle ground.

Instead, we fight each other from the safe distance of our separate islands of ideology and identity and listen intently to echoes of ourselves. We take exaggerated and histrionic offense to whatever is said about us. We banish entire lines of thought and attempt to excommunicate all manner of people — your humble speaker included — without giving them so much as a cursory hearing.

The crucial prerequisite of intelligent disagreement — namely: shut up; listen up; pause and reconsider; and only then speak — is absent.

Perhaps the reason for this is that we have few obvious models for disagreeing well, and those we do have — such as the Intelligence Squared debates in New York and London or Fareed Zakaria’s show on CNN — cater to a sliver of elite tastes, like classical music.

Fox News and other partisan networks have demonstrated that the quickest route to huge profitability is to serve up a steady diet of high-carb, low-protein populist pap. Reasoned disagreement of the kind that could serve democracy well fails the market test. Those of us who otherwise believe in the virtues of unfettered capitalism should bear that fact in mind.

I do not believe the answer, at least in the U.S., lies in heavier investment in publicly sponsored television along the lines of the BBC. It too, suffers, from its own form of ideological conformism and journalistic groupthink, immunized from criticism due to its indifference to competition.

Nor do I believe the answer lies in a return to what in America used to be called the “Fairness Doctrine,” mandating equal time for different points of view. Free speech must ultimately be free, whether or not it’s fair.

But I do think there’s such a thing as private ownership in the public interest, and of fiduciary duties not only to shareholders but also to citizens. Journalism is not just any other business, like trucking or food services. Nations can have lousy food and exemplary government, as Great Britain demonstrated for most of the last century. They can also have great food and lousy government, as France has always demonstrated.

But no country can have good government, or a healthy public square, without high-quality journalism — journalism that can distinguish a fact from a belief and again from an opinion; that understands that the purpose of opinion isn’t to depart from facts but to use them as a bridge to a larger idea called “truth”; and that appreciates that truth is a large enough destination that, like Manhattan, it can be reached by many bridges of radically different designs. In other words, journalism that is grounded in facts while abounding in disagreements.

I believe it is still possible — and all the more necessary — for journalism to perform these functions, especially as the other institutions that were meant to do so have fallen short. But that requires proprietors and publishers who understand that their role ought not to be to push a party line, or be a slave to Google hits and Facebook ads, or provide a titillating kind of news entertainment, or help out a president or prime minister who they favor or who’s in trouble.

Their role is to clarify the terms of debate by championing aggressive and objective news reporting, and improve the quality of debate with commentary that opens minds and challenges assumptions rather than merely confirming them.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/opinion/dying-art-of-disagreement.html

 

Fatto. Analisi. Impatto di @vitalbaa su newslist.it di @masechi DA LEGGERE!

Come si dovrebbe legiferare e regolamentare in un paese civile, applicando continuamente AIR (analisi di impatto della regolamentazione) e VIR (verifica di impatto della regolamentazione) prima e dopo il processo decisionale.

L’articolo è l’ulteriore dimostrazione dell’interesse della newslist.it del grande Mario Sechi

Una vita sregolata

di Vitalba Azzollini

Il sottotitolo di questa newsletter  – “Fatto. Analisi. Impatto” (ma anche “Agenda”, come dirò) – è un invito a nozze per chi si occupa di regolamentazione. Quelle tre parole sono, al contempo, presupposto e spinta per l’evoluzione dell’ordinamento. Mi spiego meglio. Il mutamento della realtà è costante, il diritto deve tenere lo stesso ritmo: l’analisi dei fatti, quindi del contesto, così come quella degli impatti delle norme che intervengono sui fatti, è imprescindibile per ogni buon regolatore. Può aggiungersi anche altro. La regolamentazione è un costo, poiché impone oneri e limiti ai soggetti privati, spese di elaborazione ed attuazione a quelli pubblici. Un rule maker realmente accountable deve essere in grado di giustificare in modo trasparente che, tra le diverse opzioni normative a sua disposizione, ha scelto quella più efficace in termini di costi e benefici, dati i fini perseguiti. La scarsa attenzione a questo processo di valutazione ponderata ha determinato nel tempo discipline sovrabbondanti, inutili o poco coerenti. E i conseguenti effetti negativi su produttività, concorrenza, competitività del sistema economico nazionale sono evidenti (e attestati da studi sull’attrattività di diversi Paesi).

Dunque, “Fatto. Analisi. Impatto” è, in sintesi, il metodo che i regolatori nazionali – specificamente governo e autorità “tecniche” – dovrebbero  seguire (il condizionale è d’obbligo, come spiegherò oltre), non foss’altro perché è da anni un obbligo di legge. Come si attua in concreto questo metodo? Si attua, da un lato, mediante l’analisi di impatto della regolamentazione (AIR), strumento che serve a definire esattamente il problema da risolvere; individuare gli obiettivi perseguiti e costruire indicatori di carattere quantitativo che consentano di verificarne il grado di raggiungimento; consultare gli stakeholder; esaminare le varie opzioni di intervento (inclusa la cd. “opzione zero”, ossia il non intervento); comparare i vantaggi e gli svantaggi di ognuna di tali opzioni, considerandone gli effetti concorrenziali sul mercato e quantificandone il “prezzo” per cittadini e imprese; delineare un attendibile scenario del futuro funzionamento dell’opzione selezionata, soprattutto dei suoi possibili effetti inattesi o indesiderati, sulla base dei dati disponibili al momento della sua scelta. Dall’altro lato, il metodo citato si attua mediante la verifica di impatto della regolamentazione (VIR), che serve per vagliare il reale grado di raggiungimento degli obiettivi prefissati, misurato sulla base degli indicatori predefiniti; “manutenere” le leggi vigenti, onde permetterne nel tempo la correzione a seguito di eventuali disfunzioni o l’aggiornamento in relazione a sopravvenuti mutamenti fattuali e giuridici; abrogare le norme non più necessarie.

Ricapitolando, il metodo riassunto in “Fatto. Analisi. Impatto” – valutazione ex ante dell’adeguatezza della regolamentazione ed ex postdella sua concreta e perdurante efficacia – serve non solo a tenere l’ordinamento al passo di una realtà in costante trasformazione e a imporre ai regolatori di giustificare le proprie scelte in maniera trasparente, ma a garantire il buon funzionamento delle leggi. Quindi, è un metodo idoneo ad assicurare una regolamentazione di qualità. Come il Consiglio di Stato ha evidenziato in un recente parere – ove riassume i numerosi interventi in tema di better regulation da parte del legislatore nazionale, nonché dell’Unione Europea e dell’OCSE – “una norma ‘scritta bene’, che rispetti i requisiti di ‘qualità’ (…) in termini di consapevolezza dell’impatto su cittadini e imprese, reca un beneficio ulteriore – e costi sociali minori – rispetto ai benefici che il suo contenuto ‘di merito’ già prevede”. In altre parole, la valutazione degli impatti, garantendo la qualità delle regole, offre un “valore aggiunto” economicamente stimabile in termini di “maggiore efficacia, efficienza, sostenibilità e ‘durabilità’ delle normative”.

“Fatto. Analisi. Impatto” è il metodo che i regolatori nazionali dovrebbero seguire, dicevo usando scientemente il condizionale. Ne spiego la ragione. Come rilevato sempre dal Consiglio di Stato – e come si legge puntualmente nella Relazione sullo stato di attuazione della analisi di impatto della regolamentazione, presentata ogni anno dal Governo al Parlamento – le relazioni AIR sono il più delle volte poco approfondite, prive degli indicatori quantitativi utili a consentire la verifica dell’effettivo impatto delle norme; mancanti dell’analisi economica delle opzioni alternative di regolamentazione e lacunose riguardo all’opzione prescelta; carenti nell’analisi di “fattibilità”, cioè incuranti della successiva fase di attuazione, anche in termini di stima delle risorse – finanziarie e umane – necessarie. Quanto alle VIR, affermare che non ve ne sono molti esempi sarebbe un eufemismo. Questa è la foto del “metodo” – anche per i fallimenti serve metodo – con cui i regolatori nazionali hanno nel tempo affossato ogni italica aspirazione di better regulation. Peraltro, svuotando di significato AIR e VIR, hanno costantemente disatteso anche il c.d. regulatory budget (che impone di non introdurre nuovi oneri amministrativi senza averne prima eliminati altri), reso le consultazioni pubbliche dei meri pro-forma, ossia atti di politica fittizia, e molto altro. Ma qui mi fermo.

“Fatto. Analisi. Impatto” è il metodo con cui, in questa newsletter, partendo dai fatti esaminati, vengono tratte conclusioni, fondandole su analisi di dati e impatti svolte trasparentemente. E trasparenza è la caratteristica ineludibile di ognuno degli strumenti di better regulationsopra citati, nonché la chiave di volta per comprendere il loro insufficiente utilizzo, di AIR e VIR soprattutto. La trasparenza delle decisioni di regolazione – cioè la trasparenza delle valutazioni degli impatti, anche attraverso la loro pubblicazione su siti istituzionali – metterebbe i governanti nella condizione di dover rendere conto del proprio operato, consentendo all’elettorato di giudicarli con dati di fatto. Detto in termini più banali, ne disvelerebbe i poco realistici annunci di riforme mirabolanti, così come il mancato ottenimento di effetti previsti con noncurante leggerezza. Dunque, gli strumenti che garantiscono la qualità della regolazione, nonché la trasparenza del processo di rule making, contribuirebbero alla responsabilizzazione democratica dei rule makers stessi, date le conseguenze reputazionali (e soprattutto elettorali) cui potrebbero dar luogo. E’ più chiaro ora il perché in Italia tali strumenti non vengono usati – anzi, sono spesso demonizzati da politici e supporter – con la conseguenza che le leggi sono fatte male e operano ancora peggio?

Dimenticavo: nel sottotitolo di questa newsletter vi è anche la parola “Agenda”, cioè il “da farsi”, e ai fini di quanto detto sopra conta anche quella. La trasparente programmazione dell’attività normativa e, quindi, l’elenco delle iniziative di regolamentazione previste in un arco temporale preciso – con pubblicazione sui siti web istituzionali anche dei motivi per cui il programma non viene eventualmente rispettato – rappresenterebbe un impegno, la cui violazione nuocerebbe alla credibilità di chi l’ha assunto.

“Fatto. Analisi. Impatto. Agenda”. Così si chiude il cerchio.

Chi è l’autore. Vitalba Azzollini, giurista. Lavora presso un’Autorità di vigilanza. Scrive in tema di diritto su riviste on line (tra le altre, La Voce e Noise fron Amerika), blog (Phastidio e Istituto Bruno Leoni) e giornali. Autrice di paper per l’Istituto Bruno Leoni.

Una lettura obbligatoria: Exponential Organizations di Salim Ismail @WRicciardi @leadmedit

Una lettura estiva (forse sarebbe meglio dire uno studio estivo) di un libro affascinante: Exponential Organizations di Salim Ismail, edito da Marsilio nella collana Nodi.

Che cos’è un’organizzazione esponenziale? Essa è un’organizzazione il cui impatto (o output) risulta notevolmente superiore – almeno dieci volte – rispetto ai competitor, grazie all’utilizzo di nuove tecniche organizzative, che fanno leva sulle tecnologie in accelerazione.

Gestire organizzazioni esponenziali focalizzate sui clienti e non sui competitor esterni e sulle strutture interne tradizionali richiede una svolta epocale, paragonata a una nuova “era cambriana”. Richiede una nuova cultura e nuove e più dinamiche competenze.

Ho raccolto alcune frasi che mi hanno particolarmente colpito! Buona meditazione a tutti noi perché molti dei temi trattati riguardano anche la sanità!

  1. L’unica costante del mondo d’oggi è il cambiamento, e il ritmo del cambiamento sta aumentando.
  2. L’accelerazione (del cambiamento) è costituita dalle 6 D: digitalized, deceptive (ingannevole), disruptive (dirompente), dematerialized, demonetized, democratized.
  3. L’utilizzo di strumenti lineari e di tendenze del passato per fare previsioni su di un futuro in accelerazione è deleterio (vedi i casi di Iridium e Kodak).
  4. Gli esperti, in quasi tutti i campi, messi di fronte ad una crescita di tipo esponenziale, continuano sempre a pensare in un’ottica lineare, ignorando l’evidenza davanti ai loro occhi.
  5. Il vecchio detto secondo cui un esperto è “qualcuno che ti dice perché qualcosa non può essere fatta” è oggi più vero che mai.
  6. Nessuno degli indicatori tradizionali quali l’età, la reputazione e le vendite attuali possono garantire la sopravvivenza di un’azienda.
  7. La legge di Moore afferma che il rapporto prezzo/prestazione della potenza di calcolo raddoppia ogni diciotto mesi.
  8. “Le nostre organizzazioni sono fatte per resistere ai cambiamenti che arrivano dall’esterno” piuttosto che per accoglierli, anche quando sono utili (da John Hagel).
  9. Le strutture organizzative aziendali esistono proprio per annientare i fattori dirompenti di cambiamento.
  10. La maggior parte delle organizzazioni complesse si basa sulla cosiddetta “struttura a matrice” … Questa struttura è efficace nel garantire il controllo, ma è disastrosa in termini di individuazione delle responsabilità, di velocità e di propensione al rischio … Con il tempo, le funzioni orizzontali acquistano sempre più potere … Per le grandi organizzazioni con struttura a matrice attuare il cambiamento rapido e dirompente è qualcosa di estremamente difficile. Quelle che ci hanno provato, infatti, hanno sperimentato che il “sistema immunitario” dell’organizzazione tende a rispondere alla minaccia percepita attaccando.
  11. Le organizzazioni esponenziali hanno la capacità di adattarsi a un mondo in cui l’informazione è pervasiva e onnipresente e di convertirla in vantaggio competitivo.
  12. I tratti comuni delle organizzazioni esponenziali sono: il Massive Transformative Purpose (Mtp), cinque caratteristiche esterne denominate Scale e cinque interne denominate Ideas. Per essere un’organizzazione esponenziale, un’azienda deve avere il Mtp e almeno quattro caratteristiche.
  13. Il Mtp non è la missione: il Mtp è aspirational. Il fuoco è su ciò che si aspira a raggiungere.
  14. Scale: staff on demand; community and crowd; algoritmi, leveraged asset; engagement
  15. Ideas: interfacce; dashboard; experimentation; autonomia; tecnologie sociali.
  16. Il concetto di autonomia non implica non rendere conto a nessuno delle proprie azioni. Secondo Steve Denning, “In un network esistono ancora le gerarchie, ma esse tendono ad essere basate sulle competenze, e fanno affidamento più sull’accountability tra colleghi che su quella dovuta all’autorità, cioè sul dover rendere conto a qualcuno perché sa qualcosa e non per il semplice fatto che occupa una determinata posizione indipendentemente dalle competenze. Il ruolo del manager si trasforma, non viene abolito”
  17. Un’organizzazione esponenziale tende a essere una zero latency enterprise cioè un’azienda in cui si annulla l’intervallo tra ideazione, approvazione e realizzazione.
  18. In passato il lavoro si concentrava principalmente sull’importanza del quoziente intellettivo (QI), oggi il quoziente emotivo (QE) e quello spirituale (QS) stanno diventando indicatori sempre più rilevanti.
  19. Un secolo fa, la competizione si giocava principalmente sulla produzione, Quarant’anni fa, invece, il fattore decisivo divenne il marketing. Oggi, nell’era di internet, in cui produzione e marketing sono diventati merci e sono stati democratizzati, tutto ruota intorno a idee e ideali.
  20. Il piano strategico quinquennale è in sé uno strumento obsoleto … Esso è un suicidio per un’organizzazione esponenziale … L’unica soluzione è stabilire un Massive transformational Purpose (Mtp), costruire la struttura aziendale, adottare un piano (al massimo) annuale e osservare la crescita, con aggiustamenti progressivi e in tempo reale a seconda delle necessità.
  21. Nel mondo delle organizzazioni esponenziali, lo scopo (Mtp) è più importante della strategia e l’execution ha la precedenza sulla pianificazione.
  22. Arianna Huffington ha detto: “Preferisco lavorare con una persona meno brillante ma che sa fare gioco di squadra ed è chiara e diretta, piuttosto che con qualcuno molto brillante ma dannoso per l’organizzazione”.
  23. In un’organizzazione esponenziale, la cultura (con il Mtp e le tecnologie sociali) è il collante che garantisce la tenuta del team nonostante i salti quantici della crescita esponenziale. Secondo Chip Conley “la cultura è ciò che accade quando il capo non c’è”. E secondo Joi Ito “la cultura si mangia la strategia a colazione”.
  24. Sta diventando sempre più facile acquisire potere, ma è sempre è più difficile mantenerlo.
  25. Consiglio ai CEO delle grandi aziende di affiancare a chi occupa posizioni di leadership i venticinquenni più brillanti, per colmare il gap generazionale e tecnologico, per permettere a questi giovani di crescere più velocemente e per innescare un meccanismo di mentoring al contrario.
  26. Se siete un manager di Amazon e un dipendente viene da voi con una grande idea, la vostra risposta di default deve essere : Se volete dire di no, dovete motivare questo rifiuto con una relazione di due pagine spiegando perché non ritenete l’idea valida.
  27. Jeff Bezos (Amazon) ha detto: “ Se sei focalizzato sui competitor, devi aspettare che siano loro a fare la prima mossa, prima di agire. Concentrarsi sui clienti, invece, consente di essere dei pionieri”.
  28. Il miglior modo per definire questa macrotransizione verso organizzazioni esponenziali è considerarla un passaggio dalla scarsità all’abbondanza … Secondo Dave Blakely “queste nuove organizzazioni sono esponenziali perché prendono qualcosa di scarso e lo fanno diventare abbondante”.

Il CV efficace: lo ha inventato Leonardo Da Vinci! Copiate! @drsilenzi @redhenry88

Tempo fa, sui social, Roberta Zantedeschi che si occupa di ricerca e selezione di personale e diformazione e orientamento professionale, ha pubblicato un interessante post su come stendere un CV efficace prendendo Leonardo da Vinci come testimonial.

Eccolo: interessante!

Quel gran secchione di Leonardo Da Vinci tra le varie cose è fautore pure del CV efficace.

Quel CV cioè che non descrive ogni singola esperienza lavorativa (quello che hai fatto in passato) ma che mette in evidenza le capacità maturate (ciò che potrai fare presso chi ti assumerà).

Un CV non autoreferenziale ma concreto, pragmatico e rivolto ai bisogni e ai problemi di chi legge.

La lettera è indirizzata al Duca Ludovico Sforza detto Il Moro in occasione del trasferimento dello stesso Leonardo a Milano e pare proprio una moderna domanda di assunzione.

Eccola tradotta in Italiano corrente:

Avendo constatato che tutti quelli che affermano di essere inventori di strumenti bellici innovativi in realtà non hanno creato niente di nuovo, rivelerò a Vostra Eccellenza i miei segreti in questo campo, e li metterò in pratica quando sarà necessario. Le cose che sono in grado di fare sono elencate, anche se brevemente, qui di seguito (ma sono capace di fare molto di più, a seconda delle esigenze):

1- Sono in grado di creare ponti, robusti ma maneggevoli, sia per attaccare i nemici che per sfuggirgli; e ponti da usare in battaglia, in grado di resistere al fuoco, facili da montare e smontare; e so come bruciare quelli dei nemici.

2- In caso di assedio, so come eliminare l’acqua dei fossati e so creare macchine d’assedio adatte a questo scopo.

3- Se, sempre in caso di assedio, la fortezza fosse inattaccabile dalle normali bombarde, sono in grado di sbriciolare ogni fortificazione, anche la più resistente.

4- Ho ideato bombarde molto maneggevoli che lanciano proiettili a somiglianza di una tempesta, in modo da creare spavento e confusione nel nemico.

5- Sono in grado di ideare e creare, in modo poco rumoroso, percorsi sotterranei per raggiungere un determinato luogo, anche passando al di sotto di fossati e fiumi.

6- Costruirò carri coperti, sicuri, inattaccabili e dotati di artiglierie, che riusciranno a rompere le fila nemiche, aprendo la strada alle fanterie, che avanzeranno facilmente e senza ostacoli.

7- Se c’è bisogno costruirò bombarde, mortai e passavolanti [per lanciare sassi e ‘proiettili’] belli e funzionali, rielaborati in modo nuovo.

8- Se non basteranno le bombarde, farò catapulte, mangani, baliste [macchine per lanciare pietre e ‘fuochi’] e altre efficaci macchine da guerra, ancora in modo innovativo; costruirò, in base alla situazione, infiniti mezzi di offesa e difesa.

9- In caso di battaglia sul mare, conosco efficaci strumenti di difesa e di offesa, e so fare navi che sanno resistere a ogni tipo di attacco.

10- In tempo di pace, sono in grado di soddisfare ogni richiesta nel campo dell’architettura, nell’edilizia pubblica e privata e nel progettare opere di canalizzazione delle acque. So realizzare opere scultoree in marmo, bronzo e terracotta, e opere pittoriche di qualsiasi tipo. Potrò eseguire il monumento equestre in bronzo che in eterno celebrerà la memoria di Vostro padre [Francesco] e della nobile casata degli Sforza.

Se le cose che ho promesso di fare sembrano impossibili e irrealizzabili, sono disposto a fornirne una sperimentazione in qualunque luogo voglia Vostra Eccellenza, a cui umilmente mi raccomando.

Che cosa fa Leonardo?

Per prima cosa sintetizza le sue competenze in un elenco numerato, così facendo facilita l’organizzazione dei contenuti e la lettura da parte di chi riceve la missiva.

Inoltre, e ancora più importante, contestualizza la lettera citando soprattutto le sue competenze in ambito bellico. Lui, che era prima di tutto un artista e pure pacifista, scrive un CV promuovendo una gamma ben specifica di abilità, quelle che ritiene possano servire al Duca. Delle sue qualità di artista ne accenna solo al decimo punto, senza forzare la mano.

Da Vinci docet quindi, il CV moderno l’ha inventato lui, e non ha niente a che fare con il formato europeo.

È invece un CV lean, contestualizzato, funzionale, che punta dritto all’obiettivo facendo leva sui bisogni di chi dovrebbe ingaggiarlo. Funziona così anche oggi: chi assume lo fa perché ha un problema e sceglie la persona che ritiene possa risolverlo nel migliore dei modi.

Quando scrivete un CV chiedetevi sempre: che problemi ha il mio interlocutore? In che modo io posso contribuire a risolverli? E poi scrivete di questo! Tutto il resto che vi verrà voglia di inserire nel CV potrebbe essere inutile, pensateci bene prima di occupare spazio con parole e informazioni che non portano valore aggiunto.

E strutturate il testo perché sia immediato e fluido, gli elenchi puntati sono i vostri migliori alleati.

HTA in Italia: pessimismo dell’intelligenza, ottimismo della volontà

Il 24 ottobre scorso sono stato invitato da Giovanni Morana, dinamico direttore della radiologia dell’ospedale di Treviso, ad un convegno sul tema della TAC Dual Energy. Il programma prevedeva una parte dedicata a questa interessante tecnologia ancora in fase di sviluppo e ricerca e una dedicata all’HTA.

hta-venezia-2016hta-2-venezia-2016

L’incontro si è tenuto all’Ateneo Veneto, una fondazione istituita da Napoleone dopo il disfacimento della Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, in uno splendido palazzo a fianco del Gran Teatro La Fenice.

Per un accidente della storia, il 9 ottobre 1996, nella stessa sede avevo organizzato un workshop, alla presenza dei politici e direttori generali della aziende sanitarie del tempo, dal titolo: “Razionamento o razionalizzazione dell’assistenza sanitaria – il ruolo dell’HTA”, starring Renaldo N. Battista al quale il collega direttore generale di Venezia (il compianto Carlo Crepas) aveva tributato gli onori che la Serenissima Repubblica tributava ai Capi di Stato e agli Ambasciatori in visita a Venezia: il corteo in barca lungo il Canal Grande.

hta-venezia-1996

L’invito di Giovanni Morana ha suscitato in me due sentimenti: il piacere di discutere oggi con i clinici (italiani, stranieri e un brillante giovane collega italiano che lavora a Charleston, Carlo De Cecco) e i produttori di tecnologia i metodi e le opportunità offerte dall’HTA; l’amarezza di toccare con mano la lentezza con la quale in questi vent’anni l’HTA si è diffusa in Italia!

Quanta strada ancora da percorrere! Se smettessimo di buttarci a pesce sulle cose urgenti e ci occupassimo un po’ di più delle cose importanti (De Gaulle) …..!!!

Il XXI secolo non ci ha portato ancora superare lo storicismo gramsciano: “Tutti i più ridicoli fantasticatori che nei loro nascondigli di geni incompresi fanno scoperte strabilianti e definitive, si precipitano su ogni movimento nuovo persuasi di poter spacciare le loro fanfaluche. D’altronde ogni collasso porta con sé disordine intellettuale e morale. Pessimismo dell’intelligenza, ottimismo della volontà”. (Q28, III)

Anzi…..

 

Terremoto e paradossi economici @WRicciardi @drsilenzi @redhenry88

Titolo su Milano Finanza: “Il paradosso del terremoto: le spese per la ricostruzione non incideranno sul deficit e daranno una mano al pil”. E’ l’articolo più interessante e utile pubblicato sui quotidiani. Il passaggio chiave è questo: “La contabilità della ricostruzione ha a che fare con le disposizioni del nuovo articolo 81 della Costituzione, in cui si prevede la deroga all’obbligo del pareggio di bilancio, facendo dunque ricorso all’ indebitamento, solo quando si debbano fronteggiare un ciclo economico o circostanze eccezionali. Tra queste ultime, sono espressamente considerate le gravi calamità naturali. Spetterà al Parlamento, con una conforme deliberazione di Camera e Senato assunta a maggioranza dei rispettivi componenti, dichiarare che si versa in una delle citate situazioni. Anche il Fiscal compact, ma in maniera più generica, considera due circostanze eccezionali che consentono di derogare all’ obbligo di pervenire al pareggio strutturale del bilancio: si tratta degli “eventi inconsueti non soggetti al controllo della parte contraente interessata che abbiano rilevanti ripercussioni sulla situazione finanziaria della pubblica amministrazione”, e quindi nel nostro caso delle gravi calamità naturali. La deviazione temporanea è ammessa, purché non comprometta la sostenibilità del bilancio a medio termine. Nel caso di gravi calamità si attiva la clausola di flessibilità che consente di peggiorare il deficit congiunturale, ma si deve trattare infatti di spese una tantum, che si esauriscono con la soluzione del problema insorto. Tutte le spese pubbliche e le sovvenzioni concesse ai privati a seguito di una calamità naturale concorrono a far aumentare il prodotto, dacché mobilitano risorse materiali e umane che altrimenti sarebbero rimaste inerti. A differenza di qualsiasi investimento, o altra spesa pubblica, di questi interventi non si tiene conto ai fini del rispetto degli obblighi costituzionali ed internazionali sul pareggio di bilancio. La considerazione è ancora più amara se si pensa che le spese edilizie volte alla messa in sicurezza a fini antisismici, sia che derivino da spese pubbliche dirette, sia che dipendano da detrazioni di imposta a favore dei privati che le effettuino, non hanno lo stesso trattamento di favore”. Sì, è un paradosso.

Mario Sechi, Il Foglio List, 25 agosto 2016

Popper: abbiamo il diritto di non tollerare gli intolleranti @WRicciardi @drsilenzi @redhenry88

Se estendiamo l’illimitata tolleranza anche a coloro che sono intolleranti, se non siamo disposti a difendere una società tollerante contro l’attacco degli intolleranti, allora i tolleranti saranno distrutti, e la tolleranza con essi. In questa formulazione io non implico, per esempio, che si debbano sempre sopprimere le manifestazioni delle filosofie intolleranti; finché possiamo contrastarle con argomentazioni razionali e farle tenere sotto controllo dall’opinione pubblica, la soppressione sarebbe certamente la meno saggia delle decisioni. Ma dobbiamo proclamare il diritto di sopprimerle, se necessario, anche con la forza; perché può facilmente avvenire che esse non siano disposte a incontrarci a livello dell’argomentazione razionale, ma pretendano di ripudiare ogni argomentazione; esse possono vietare ai loro seguaci di prestare ascolto all’argomentazione razionale, perché considerata ingannevole, e invitarli a rispondere agli argomenti con l’uso dei pugni e delle pistole. Noi dovremmo quindi proclamare, in nome della tolleranza, il diritto di non tollerare gli intolleranti.

Karl Popper: La società aperta e i suoi nemici

 

BETTER HEALTH CARE AND LOWER COSTS @leadmedit @medici_Manager @pash22 @WRicciardi

REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT BETTER HEALTH CARE AND LOWER COSTS: ACCELERATING IMPROVEMENT THROUGH SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

Executive Summary

In recent years there has been success in expanding access to the health-care system, with millions gaining coverage in the past year due to the Affordable Care Act. With greater access, emphasis now turns to guaranteeing that care is both affordable and high-quality. Rising health-care costs are an important determinant of the Nation’s fiscal future, and they also affect the budgets for States, businesses, and families across the country. Health-care costs now approach a fifth of the economy, and careful reviews suggest that a significant portion of those costs does not lead to better health or better care.

Other industries have used a range of systems-engineering approaches to reduce waste and increase reliability, and health care could benefit from adopting some of these approaches. As in those other industries, systems engineering has often produced dramatically positive results in the small number of health-care organizations that have implemented such concepts. These efforts have transformed health care at a small scale, such as improving the efficiency of a hospital pharmacy, and at much larger scales, such as coordinating operations across an entire hospital system or across a community. Systems tools and methods, moreover, can be used to ensure that care is reliably safe, to eliminate inefficient processes that do not improve care quality or people’s health, and to ensure that health care is centered on patients and their families. Notwithstanding the instances in which these methods and techniques have been applied successfully, they remain underutilized throughout the broader system.

The primary barrier to greater use of systems methods and tools is the predominant fee-for-service payment system, which is a major disincentive to more efficient care. That system rewards procedures, not personalized care. To support needed change, the Nation needs to move more quickly to payment models that pay for value rather than volume. These new payment models depend on metrics to identify high-value care, which means that strong quality measures are needed, especially about health outcomes. With payment incentives aligned and quality information available, health care can take advantage of an array of approaches using systems engineering to redesign processes of care around the patient and bring community resources, as well as medical resources, together in support of that goal.

Additional barriers limit the spread and dissemination of systems methods and tools, such as insufficient data infrastructure and limited technical capabilities. These barriers are especially acute for practices with only one or a few physicians (small practices) or for community-wide efforts. To address these barriers, PCAST proposes the following overarching approaches where the Administration could make a difference:

  1. Accelerate alignment of payment systems with desired outcomes,
  2. Increase access to relevant health data and analytics,
  3. Provide technical assistance in systems-engineering approaches,
  4. Involve communities in improving health-care delivery,
  5. Share lessons learned from successful improvement efforts, and
  6. Train health professionals in new skills and approaches.

Through implementation of these strategies, systems tools and methods can play a major role in improving the value of the health-care system and improving the health of all Americans.

Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 1: Accelerate the alignment of payment incentives and reported information with better outcomes for individuals and populations.

 

1.1  HealthandHumanServices(HHS)shouldconvenepublicandprivatepayers(includingMedicare,Medicaid, State programs, and commercial insurers) and employers to discuss how to accelerate the transition to outcomes-based payment, promote transparency, and provide tools and supports for practice transformation. This work could build on current alignment and measurement-improvement efforts at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HHS broadly.

1.2  CMS should collaborate with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop the best measures (including outcomes) for patients and populations that can be readily assessed using current and future digital data sources. Such measures would create more meaningful information for providers and patients.

Recommendation 2: Accelerate efforts to develop the Nation’s health-data infrastructure.
2.1 HHS should continue, and accelerate, the creation of a robust health-data infrastructure through widespread adoption of interoperable electronic health records and accessible health information. Specific actions in this vein were proposed in the 2010 PCAST report on health information technology and the related 2014 JASON report to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Recommendation 3: Provide national leadership in systems engineering by increasing the supply of data available to benchmark performance, understand a community’s health, and examine broader regional or national trends.

3.1 HHS should create a senior leadership position, at the Assistant Secretary level, focused on health-care transformation to advance information science and data analytics. The duties for this position should include:

  • Inventory existing data sources, identify opportunities for alignment and integration, and increase awareness of their potential;
  • Expand access to existing data through open data initiatives;
  • Promote collaboration with other Federal partners and private organizations; and
  • Create a more focused and deep data-science capability through advancing data analytics and
  • implementation of systems engineering.

3.2 HHS should work with the private sector to accelerate public- and private-payer release of provider-level data about quality, safety, and cost to increase transparency and enable patients to make more informed decisions.

Recommendation 4: Increase technical assistance (for a defined period—3-5 years) to health-care professionals and communities in applying systems approaches.

4.1 HHS should launch a large-scale initiative to provide hands-on support to small practices to develop the capabilities, skills, and tools to provide better, more coordinated care to their patients. This initiative should build on existing initiatives, such as the ONC Regional Extension Centers and the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Recommendation 5: Support efforts to engage communities in systematic health-care improvement.

 

5.1  HHSshouldcontinuetosupportStateandlocaleffortstotransformhealthcaresystemstoprovidebetter

care quality and overall value.

5.2  Future CMS Innovation Center programs should, as appropriate, incorporate systems-engineering

principles at the community level; set, assess, and achieve population-level goals; and encourage grantees

to engage stakeholders outside of the traditional health-care system.

5.3  HHS should leverage existing community needs assessment and planning processes, such as the

community health-needs assessments for non-profit hospitals, Accountable Care Organization (ACO) standards, health-department accreditation, and community health-center needs assessments, to promote systems thinking at the community level.

Recommendation 6: Establish awards, challenges, and prizes to promote the use of systems methods and tools in health care.

6.1 HHS and the Department of Commerce should build on the Baldrige awards to recognize health-care providers successfully applying system engineering approaches.

Recommendation 7: Build competencies and workforce for redesigning health care.

 

7.1  HHS should use a wide range of funding, program, and partnership levers to educate clinicians about

systems-engineering competencies for scalable health-care improvement.

7.2  HHS should collect, inventory, and disseminate best practices in curricular and learning activities, as well as encourage knowledge sharing through regional learning communities. These functions could be accomplished through the new extension-center functions.

7.3  HHS should create grant programs for developing innovative health professional curricula that include systems engineering and implementation science, and HHS should disseminate the grant products broadly.

7.4  HHS should fund systems-engineering centers of excellence to build a robust specialty in Health-

Improvement Science for physicians, nurses, health professionals, and administrators.

Full Report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/PCAST/pcast_systems_engineering_in_healthcare_-_may_2014.pdf

Move over teamwork: other forms of co-operative working? @pash22 @leadmedit @muirgray

Taken very broadly, there are two kinds of management or business research thinking when it comes to teams: perspectives that think teams are a decent functional way to organise workers to work effectively, and perspectives that are much more critical of the very concept of teamwork.

Instinctively, anecdotally, and from much research over the last few decades – we all know that teams often don’t work. ‘Dream teams’ of exceptional individuals can turn out to be nightmare units, groupthink and other faulty decision-making biases can make the whole less than the sum of its parts, and sometimes people end up in too many teams or don’t even know whether they’re in or out. I would argue that this is because teams are relatively artificial constructs; they are often no more than idealistic ‘boxes’ that exist unevenly only in the minds of some managers and workers.

Frequently, organisations are not like traditional sporting events or the inside of rowboats – they are much more variable, overlapping, organically changing configurations of people. Being inside a team or outside a team is not a neat shift from one state to another – teams or groupings vary continually in how ‘groupy’ or cohesive they actually are. Most management research, however, has focused on teams as neat boxes or islands that sometimes conflict a bit, but generally agree in their perceptions, have stability of membership, and have a relatively fixed relationship with their external environments. In short, it has been a romance of teams, a science of convenience, and an exercise in wishful thinking.

However, none of this is to say that teams are always doomed or flawed. With the right culture, tasks, and aligned sets of HR practices, teams can innovate and achieve highly effective working patterns. As with all social and workplace issues: it depends on the context and getting the conditions and circumstances right. However, many of these favourable initial ingredients or conditions for optimising teamwork either remain elusive or appear in an implausibly long list. It is no mean feat to ensure the selection of diverse members, extensive team-building and clear unifying goals. Teams themselves are also a moving target; in general they are changing: members come and go more often, technology encourages collaboration over almost any distance, and traditional hierarchies have become much flatter.

What I wish to say is that teams should be considered more dynamically as sitting within a broader spectrum of many cooperative working options simultaneously; as one work arrangement among many. The guiding word here being cooperation. There are multiple ‘building blocks’ of cooperation, from small-scale to large-scale, guiding how people work together, that managers can consider as part of a broader, customisable repertoire. I tend to refer to them as a ‘cooperative value chain’ or a ‘high-cooperation HR menu’. This cooperative toolkit consists of the five following components:

1) The individual. I want to be alone. Many job descriptions, rewards packages and other parts of the psychological contract bestowed via HR practices still revolve around individuals and their needs or talents. Many artists, technical problem-solvers, leaders and so on, may find they work most effectively as a demarcated, unique individual. Western, individualistic cultures may also favour personalised working this way, for at least significant portions of employees’ time, as proactivity, autonomy, and flexibility are emphasised in their roles. Single individuals are still cooperating, but in their own reflective way; they may also occupy special positions in social networks (see below) or fulfil boundary-spanning roles, where they are the individual link bridging units of cooperation that would otherwise have no way to interface.

2) The dyad. Two heads are better than one, but three’s a crowd. Some work roles explicitly involve pairs – software programmers check each other’s work, police officers patrol in pairs, and mentoring and other partnerships can occur in this way. But more exploitation of this unique two-person unit may be possible in workplaces than is currently realised. Some would argue that a dyad/couple is a small team, but I would argue it constitutes a special relationship. Two people cut a fruitful compromise, a middle ground between the egoistic isolation of working alone and the potentially biasing social pressures of a larger group.  Of course such pairs need to be carefully matched to each other and the workflow to get the most out of the pairing.

3) The classic team. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts – go team! As discussed above, in some situations, a neatly bounded, interdependent team with a clear goal may be possible. But a team charter or checklist should be carefully put in place to ensure the key conditions are right before proceeding with what is a larger, more elaborate cooperative endeavour in terms of the numbers of people involved. Social and task criteria to keep it working effectively together will need to be addressed, including a meaningful shared purpose, a differentiated mix of suitable members, clear rules or norms, wider resource-based support, and adequate coaching. Leadership, technology, lifespan, and competing teams or other boundary memberships in the wider environment will need to be addressed, in line with the other cooperative options above and below.

4) The multi-team system. Teams don’t exist in a vacuum, but in a ‘team of teams’.Beyond single teams, research is increasingly considering multi-team systems (MTSs) or ‘teams of teams’. Army, Navy, and Air Force; or Police, Ambulance, Fire would be obvious examples, but of course most organisations contain multiple groups, divisions, functions, layers etc. with potential for forming and/or recognising MTSs. One commanding team might lead several subsidiary teams, or teams with specific goals might come together to achieve a higher goal. As with single teams, structures need to be made crystal clear and cooperative flows and linkages choreographed and monitored carefully. People may need to be cross-trained, or to attend multiple team events, but without taking on too much workload. The relationship between the immediate goals of one team and the higher goals of the set of teams need to be clarified, as well as prioritised in various scenarios.

5) The social network. The wisdom of crowds. In a sense here we come full circle as individual employees occupy distinctive positions within collaborative networks, but in an increasingly interconnected world with more permeable communication boundaries, anyone can be meaningfully connected with up to 150 others at any one time. We enter the realm of crowd-sourcing, flash mobs, consortia, and other self-organising forms of social movement or widespread cooperative organisation. The boundaries of entire businesses and sectors may be transcended, co-operators may never meet or be totally aware of each other, and finished products may be complex mosaic or snowball outputs, difficult to link directly back to the inputs and processes of diverse contributors. Yet impressive tasks and economies of scale can be achieved, sometimes on goodwill and intrinsic motivation alone.

In conclusion, HR practitioners should try to take advantage of mapping this broader array of cooperative building blocks simultaneously. Rather than simply asking ‘to team or not to team?’ they should consider offering employees a greater range of performance opportunities via these other cooperative value chain options, enabling them to work more naturalistically and fully unlock their talents.

http://www.hrzone.com/feature/people/move-over-teamwork-what-about-all-other-forms-co-operative-working/141116

Coaching or telling. Which works? Here’s the evidence… @leadmedit @muirgray @helenbevan

Given the name of my company, Head Heart + Brain you won’t be too surprised to learn I like to have an evidence base for what I do. The ‘brain’ part of the name represents understanding the science behind leadership and change. This links to my curiosity about ideas that ‘seem obvious’ to me but that don’t get traction. I talked about this in my article on Emotional Intelligence. I feel the same about coaching. Whilst many companies use external coaches to work with senior people HR find it harder to gain traction for the manger as coach. Companies we work with still have many managers who adopt a ‘command and control’ style; that is telling people what to do. What is the evidence of which works best; coaching or telling? Is coaching actually more effective than just telling people what to do especially in complex change? I will look at some of the evidence which may help to understand which will maximise performance.

Brain basics

Let’s look at how the brain works in an organisational context.

The brain functions by making connections and associations, linking what is happening now and what has happened in the past, the memories both conscious and unconscious. This combination creates a kind of map of connections in the brain. No two maps will be the same even though the biological process for creating them is. The maps are created by making over a million new connections every second. This gives you some indication of the complexity. The brain likes order so seeks to connect new information to what is already known, to categorise it. Gerald Edelman developed the Theory of Neural Darwinism which provides a physical explanation for how our mental maps compete for resources.

The way the brain seeks to predict and make connections is explained by Jeffrey Hawkins in On Intelligence. He says our prediction abilities differentiate us in the animal world. When we first encounter something we are relatively slow to understand it. Like this article we need first to get the foundations in place. In learning a new skill for example it takes a while, maybe a few minutes or days depending on the complexity, for it to become familiar, that is create the map. The more embedded these maps the more we free up mental resources. We call this process forming a habit. Habits are run by the older more energy-efficient parts of the brain. This process of shifting activity, including thinking, from the high energy, relatively inefficient, prefrontal cortex to the more efficient areas is a basic operating mode for the brain.

Linked to this is neuroplasticity. Expert Norman Doidge, in The brain that changes itself points out, there is substantial evidence we can “rewire our brains with our thoughts.” Hebbs Law states that ‘neurons that fire together wire together’. So the more you focus on something the deeper the neurological connection. When we delve into and analysis a problem we are reinforcing the connections in the brain. This occurs through a process called myelination, the more a pathway is used, the stronger it becomes. When we repeat an action, a fatty covering called myelin coats the neural pathway, making connections stronger and more secure. Because the default is to go with the pathways that are developed it is hard to change habits but easier to create new ways of working. But it is still difficult to change without focused support and intentional effort.

The other relevant question is whether there are distinct functions responsible for emotional, as opposed to general intelligence. Research by Reuven Bar-On isolated these regions by studying people with damage to the brain in areas correlated with diminished ability in understanding self and understanding others. His findings clearly point to brain areas which relate to understanding self and others, that is Emotional Intelligence, which are distinct to areas associate with general intelligence.

So with this understanding as background let’s look at the impact of telling someone to change verses coaching them to change.

Telling versus insight

A premise of coaching is that people work things out for themselves. The difference between being told and having insight is all about creating new mental maps. If you are thinking about something like how a new process will work or the reaction of your team to a new strategy you are creating a mental map. These new thoughts are energy consuming from a brain perspective so you often do this when your brain is freed up from other activity like in the shower or on the walk to work. This type of thinking creates what we call an ‘aha moment’ or an insight. This is literally new connections happening, a new map or part of a map is formed. If you are told how to carry out the new process or what the strategy means for your job you still have to create that mental map. So coaching insight is more brain-savvy than telling an employee the answer. To take any kind of action people have to think it through for themselves. They can do this for themselves and immediately create the map when the coach/manager asks questions that create insight or they do it later after they have been told. The additional issue with telling is that it is more likely to set up a threat response (see more in the CORE video) as the individual’s predictions and connections are different to what was expected. As we have observed before, this difference creates an error message and a sense of pain in the brain. This in turn moves people away from the new information and increases the likelihood of resistance.

Managers who tell rather than coach not only waste their own energy but they are potentially making it more difficult for employees to accept a new idea. Are your managers and coaches creating insight or giving advice?

Transferring skills

You will have experienced that an insight comes with a burst of motivation or energy but this quickly dissipates if not reinforced. Reinforcing the insight creates new connections and potentially new behaviour. Because this type of action and thinking is hard work, because it takes more brain energy, people may avoid it or give up too soon before a deep map is formed. But people are also adaptable and can find shortcuts.

new study provides strong evidence for a “flexible hub” theory of brain which has implications for using skills. “Flexible hubs are brain regions that coordinate activity throughout the brain to implement tasks – like a large Internet traffic router,” suggestsMichael Cole, the author of the study.

By analysing activity as the flexible hubs connected during the processing of specific tasks, researchers found unique patterns that enabled them to see the hub’s role in using existing skills in new tasks. Known as compositional coding, the process allows skills learned in one context to be re-packaged and re-used in others, shortening the learning curve. By tracking and testing the performance of individuals the study showed that the transfer of these skills helped participants speed their mastery of new tasks, and use existing skills in a new setting.

Are your coach/managers focusing people on transferring existing skills to the ‘new world’ to speed up change?

Moving to action

Conventional wisdom, in many businesses, is that if people understand rationally why they need to do something the change will occur.  Kevin Oschner estimates 70% of what we do is habitual and that includes your job. As previously mentioned habits are run by the older parts of the brain, the basal ganglia. Because habits operate out of our conscious awareness our rational understanding is not enough. Coaching on why the new behaviour matters to the individual and designing a strategy might work.

Several things need to be in place to achieve behavioural change. Matt Lieberman says we must go beyond conscious systems and use our unconscious or “reflexive” systems. Goals for the new behaviour tend to be created in the conscious reflective system but we need to also control the unconscious habit system by managing triggers that generate the old behaviour. Elliot Berkman studies goal setting and achieving new behaviour and his research suggests there are several elements that must be aligned.

For example in new habit formation there is a sequence:

  1. cue;
  2. when to act,
  3. routine;
  4. the steps to take,
  5. and reward.

Are coach/manages working with both systems? Are they creating new behaviour by creating new routines and rewards? Are there strategies to manage the triggers that will prompt old behaviour?

We are social

The science shows social needs are primary in the brain, something many forget at work. Social pain activates the same regions as physical pain. When someone is put down, or their ways of working are controlled, or they are told what to do, especially publically, a threat response is activated reducing the ability to think clearly. You know that feeling – “I’m just blank, I have no mental space.” The frontal cortex is drained as the limbic system hijacks the energy. Again, a strike against telling!

This evidence base may go some way to persuading reluctant managers to adopt a different style.

But I am not going to fall into the same trap – and will practice what I preach.  So far be it for me to tell you that telling doesn’t work.  I’ll leave you with a few questions to generate you own insight.  What reaction have you experienced when telling someone to change? When has telling someone to do something differently worked?  What has been the benefit for you of creating insight in others?  What, good, surprises have you got from asking questions rather than telling?

The Precipice: Influence and Manipulation @helenbevan @leadmedit @wricciardi @pash22

BY 

In some ways, to influence and to manipulate can seem to be the same thing. After all, the intent of both influence and manipulation is to get other people to behave, think, or make the decision you want them to. But is that really the case as demonstrated by these definitions from thefreedictionary.com?

Influence:  (n) 1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort. 2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position.  (v) 1. To produce an effect on by imperceptible or intangible means; sway. 2) To affect the nature, development, or condition of; modify.

Manipulate: (v) 1. To move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means, especially in a skillful manner. 2. To influence or manage shrewdly or deviously. 3. To tamper with or falsify for personal gain.

As indicated in the definitions, the main purpose of both influence and manipulation is  to sway; however, there is a definite difference between the two. Influence is an ethical behavior; manipulation is unethical. We admire leaders who have mastered the power of influence; equally, we mistrust leaders we believe to be manipulative. They are both getting us to see things their way. Taken too far, influence can move to the other end of the spectrum and become manipulation.

The differences between influence and manipulation include the:

  • reason behind the intention to persuade another person
  • truthfulness and accuracy of provided information
  • transparency of the process
  • benefit, affect, or impact on the person.

Manipulation implies an intent to fool or trick someone into doing, believing, or buying something that leaves them harmed in some way. We view manipulators as schemers. Out to get what they want using whatever means possible, manipulators selfishly pursue their own agenda, trying to control instead of wanting to influence another person. For example:

Influence Someone offers a proposition that is beneficial to both parties.

Manipulation: Someone offers a proposition that serves their own purposes and is against the other person’s interest. They conceal a desire to move the person to their point of view in a way that will only benefit themselves. In addition, if their intention were uncovered, the discovery would cause the other person to be less receptive to their idea.

Influence: All information provided is accurate and shared openly.

Manipulation:  Information is withheld or distorted to trick or deceive.

Influence Someone is willingly led to something they want or that will benefit them.

Manipulation: Someone is led to something that will harm them or lead them to eventual regret.

Influence Requesting someone to do you a favor you believe they won’t want to do using sincere appreciation.

Manipulation: Getting someone to do you a favor you believe they won’t want to do using guilt or emotional blackmail.

Many years ago I worked with a manager who often ended his directives with, “And if I find out you didn’t follow what I said, you’re fired,” Looking back now, I assume that he was not confident in his role, his ability to do the job, and/or his effectiveness as a manager and leader. We have all known people who, like my former colleague, get others to do what they want through fear and intimidation. Using these tactics may accomplish what they want, but it does not make them leaders. Like love and hate, there is a fine line between influence and manipulation.

 

A New View Of Leadership @leadmedit @WRicciardi @muirgray @pash22

By Nigel Nicholson http://bit.ly/1d2urwz

For every Winston Churchill, there is a Fred Goodwin. What makes some leaders soaraway successes, while others crash and burn?

When a flock of birds simultaneously takes to the air or when a herd of buffalo wheels and turns as one, it is a miracle of coordination. Who is leading? This is a very human question and presumption.

Sit in a packed stadium and watch the crowd rather than the sport and you will see waves of emotion and expression, uncoordinated except by the spontaneous urges of people infecting each other with thought and feeling. Not a leader in sight.

Picture the scene: I am working with a group of executives and the topic is teamwork. I ask them what the critical factors are to getting high performance out of a team.

It is only a matter of time before one person says that the group needs a leader. Lots of heads nod in agreement around the room.

At this point, I assign them randomly to groups to perform a task, and when we analyse what transpired, it is evident that the best performing team turned out to have no designated leader, and the groups that made a point of appointing a leader performed indifferently.

Look closer and you will see that teams lacking a recognisable leader do not lack leadership. It is present, no less than in the flock or herd, but it may be hard to pin down.

Leadership is not a thing but a process. It is something that helps systems to function; coordinating and directing effort. Yet, clearly, we are infatuated with leadership, which is why more space on business bookshelves is occupied by the subject than any other topic.

So why yet another book – mine?

Although there are lots of great leadership recipe books and stories of leadership success and failure, what I couldn’t find was any analysis that connected our biology as a species that loves to be led with what we see going on around us in business.

Cometh the moment, cometh the man or woman. History teaches us that just when we are in our darkest hour, a hero emerges to show us the way – Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela in politics, GE’s Jack Welch and IBM’s Lou Gerstner in business.

Smart businesses and societies organise themselves in ways that help these leaders to emerge, but history’s parade contains as many disappointments and disasters as successes.

In the new frontier of postDarwinian thought, this turning wheel of adaptation and maladaptation is called co- evolution.

What’s special about leadership is that leaders can be game changers; rewriting the conditions under which success and failure are defined. Leaders are the tools of historical forces, and the makers of history.

What comes out of this view is what I call the Leadership Formula. To be effective, a leader has to be the right person, at the right time and place, doing the right thing. This has some simple implications and some tricky ones. The simple ones are that there are many ways of being a leader, and there are many leadership situations.

But leaders need to watch out, for situations change faster than people do.

This is where it gets tricky. It turns into a strategic challenge of whether or not leaders can bend the situation to their will or be versatile enough to ride the waves of change.

One of the smartest things Nelson Mandela did was to quit while he was ahead, climbing off the turning wheel of history before it crushed him, making way for a technocrat successor, Thabo Mbeki, to move the country to its next stage of development.

With our leadership infatuation we have to beware of the football manager syndrome, replacing leaders as soon as things go wrong. Rather, succession should be strategic, to meet the needs of changing times.

Now let us climb into the mind of the leader to see how the process of leadership actually works. What you find is an interdependent triangle of being, doing and seeing.

Being – who you are – determines what you do. In leadership, character matters because we view the world through a prism of identity. Many leaders succeed and then fail because who they are filters how they see the world and scripts the actions they take. Look at Kenneth Lay, architect of the Enron disaster.

Doing – what you do can shape your character. This is especially true of malleable people not troubled by strong instincts and impulses. They can be conditioned. Tony Blair’s account of his ‘journey’ through his premiership seemed to involve a lot of development and discovery by doing, but it was seeing – his analytic capabilities applied to experience – that informed his choices.

Seeing – this is the most fundamental starting point for leadership, and the least regarded. It is the vision of leaders that drives them and us on. They see the world as it is and how they wish it to be. The challenge they face is to keep pace with the environment and the effects of their actions.

Being openminded does not guarantee you will see what is truly important. Perspective matters, and is the key to leadership effectiveness. Openmindedness is a mark of the new generation of leading-edge business leaders, people such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt at Google or Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook.

How Being, Doing and Seeing work together can be illustrated by thinking about change. Did you ever try to influence someone – like a spouse, a boss, or, worse, a teenager? Often we try to do this by direct attack on the Being part – ‘Get your mind right will you, please? If possible, be like me’.

Does it work? Does it hell! OK, next tack – try changing the Doing part, say by forcing a person down a new route, with the aid of rules, rewards and punishments.

Does this work? Sometimes, but it can take time. The mind has to play catch-up with behaviour, as was the case with banning smoking in public places.

Want instantaneous change? Seeing is the key. Reframe safety as threat, danger as opportunity, desire as dependence and people can switch their goals and their actions in a flash.

That’s the thing – the only person that can change you is you. This is a special human gift: the ability to change our lives and states of being in an instant, like Saul on the road to Damascus.

It is an unfortunate tribute to human persistence and optimism that we are forever trying to change people by the hardest and most impossible routes.

Great leaders know that seeing – vision – is the key to influence. Steve Jobs enveloped people in his ‘reality distortion field’ (a Star Trek concept applied to him by a colleague) and Jack Welch was a master storyteller.

Let us now apply my leadership framework, which I call the Situations, Processes and Qualities model (SPQ) to unlock the secrets of why certain leaders emerge, and why others fail.

There are many different kinds of leadership situation – every time you get promoted, take on a new assignment or employ new people, your leadership situation changes. Look at financial services, where an almost nonexistent leadership culture with everyone contentedly churning inside a bubble of self-inflating growth now finds itself struggling to be reborn and crying out for a new style of leadership.

Fred Goodwin was more a dealmaker than a leader, who expanded RBS to gargantuan proportions, until its collapse revealed the fatal absence of a coherent vision that met the needs of a changing world.

The first lesson of the SPQ model is to read the world and understand how it is changing. This might sound simple, but it is fraught with difficulty, not least the problem that people around leaders inhabit the same reality bubble.

They only see what the leader sees, and those with a different perspective get scant air time or are suppressed. The more powerful and successful leaders are, the less likely they will be to hear dissenting voices.

Leaders like Robert Maxwell, Goodwin, and Al ‘Chainsaw’ Dunlap (of Sunbeam) were surrounded by likeminded supporters in a climate where bad news was often suppressed. Leaders have to go undercover in their own organisations, engage in counterfactual thinking and allow their vision to evolve with a changing reality.

The second lesson of the SPQ model is the importance of doing what is needed for the situation. In principle, anyone can learn how to craft and deliver a powerful message, practise the skills of empathy, build a team, and so on.

It just takes time, discipline and desire. The last of these – desire – is the Achilles heel of doing what’s needed. If your backhand is weak, you may find it easier to run round and play a forehand, rather than work on your weakness.

There is also a capacity problem, and here we are bedevilled by the lonely leader problem – where leaders are isolated, insecure and obsessively meddling in every detail. What is needed is not just a strong team and the ability to delegate but what I call Critical Leader Relationships – a handful of trusted confidants who can be eyes and ears, helpers and advisers, and sources of support and honest feedback.

Michael Eisner, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates enjoyed their greatest successes at Disney, Apple and Microsoft respectively through their partnerships with people with complementary gifts, who advised, challenged and supported them when needed.

The third lesson of the SPQ framework is that leaders have to know themselves and control themselves. Unfortunately there are major disincentives to self-control.

Leaders often find their narcissism and arrogance and unfettered displays of their identity – a surfeit of ‘authenticity’ perhaps – are not just rewarded but revered by followers longing for the magical protective power of heroism and charisma.

Indeed, at the heart of leadership lies a dilemma or rather a balance to be struck between instinct and insight, between shaping and versatility, and between innovation and adaptability.

On the one hand is the need for leaders not just to respond to the forces around them but to shape them, as Steve Jobs famously did. Power is not just an opportunity but a duty to make elements of their world follow their vision. Leadership is about taking charge. This goes beyond accountability.

The performance of your boss and your peers is not your remit, but if you can help them and share your vision with them you should do so.

On the other hand is the need for deep insights into the leadership situation – to anticipate the waves of change and ride them with agility and versatility. Welch’s virtue as a leader resided in his ability to change his strategy to match the new realities he had created.

There are many forces that the leader cannot control but must navigate with skill. To do this, leaders need to develop techniques of inquiry.

Asking questions is the least developed skill in management. Too many leaders see their role as being advocates, declaimers and speech-makers.

All useful at the right time and place, but reading other people is an equal need – using what I call the art of ‘decentring’ – knowing what the world looks like through the eyes of others.

Management-by-wandering-about is another time-honoured insight technique – mostly practised by new leaders when they are finding their feet, but too often neglected as their in-tray piles higher over time.

What leaders need most of all is clarity of vision founded on a secure sense of personal and business identity, and which can be communicated with passion. This does not mean speechifying from a podium but storytelling in ways that are simple, compelling and that make sense. People need a narrative that makes sense of their experience and connects the past, the present and the future. People need to see the logic of the journey and to be reassured that if the future is not going to be like the past, it is connected in ways that are also a part of their story.

There are four stories, actually, that all leaders need – not necessarily to tell but to keep in their hearts and minds in how they act and communicate:1. Who am I and why I am here? This is not a recital of one’s CV but is about how to be real to people around you and show that you have chosen to be where you are for a purpose.

2. Who are we and what do we stand for? This is the ‘I’ of identity, that declares the purpose and raison d’etre for the part of the organisation the leader is responsible for.

3. Where are we going and why? This is the mission story, hard to tell when the future is shrouded in fog, so often a message of commitment, hope and determination.

4. Why we must change – this is the call to people on the journey to let go of the past and embrace the future. The ‘I’ of leadership is also the eye of leadership – identity plus vision, communicated with passion.

Nigel Nicholson’s The ‘I’ of Leadership: Strategies for seeing, being and doing, is published by John Wiley & Sons at £18.99.