Eagle squad

From The Jolly Contrarian
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Organisational theory generally

Systems analysis:

Solving the future: a philosophical battle between:

  • Reductionism: We can solve the future by policy/taxonomy/data/tech:
  • Pragmatism: We cannot predict emerging risks — we need flexibility and expertise to make risk decisions out in the view we can manage every risk by policy.
  • A mixed approach required: Make BAU as standardised, preengingeered cheap and no-nonsense as possible; leave the frontiers as clear and flexible as possible.

Approaches which get this wrong: anything which obliges humans to rekey, fill out forms, attest, certify as to BAU: this is should be automated

  • Reg tech which tries to do the hard stuff and requires humans to do the clerical stuff: which forces humans to be form-filler-outers
  • Policy as a problem: if you codify get machines to do it. If you need humans to do it, you need to keep the rules simple and clear.

The role of legal

  • Not part of the operational stack
    • The two modes of legal: farming and building a frontier
    • Farming: Toyota production system
    • Frontier: normal accidents
    • The line betwixt: triage

Persuasion and effective communication

  • Client communications
  • Legal documents as tools of persuasion: the different functions of legal contracts at different parts of their life cycle
  • Negotation
    • Commitment signalling: understanding the psychology of negotiation
    • Negotiation hacks: Getting *their* business onside, and reframing the debate between their business and their legal
    • People power: The value of interpersonal relationships. Go see the client. Build rapport. Call them. Then put it in writing.
  • The nature of catastrophic risk is that it is not what you are looking at
  • Drafting hacks to make something more agreeable

The basis between risk management systems and legal docs

  • The value of standardisation of operational controls

The smart contract concept and how it is a metaphor The division of labour: a process that requires manual checking is a bad process.

    • Example: termsheet/contract/closing memo. If you're rekeying you're wasting effort. Structure your agreement so it is a closing memo.
  • How to turn legalese into plain language
  • Meetings
    • As lazy/selfish by convenor
    • As inefficient/wasteful
    • As defusing of responsibility
    • As being uneasy peace/timid consensus
  • Legal documents and policies as doing the same

Tools and resources

  • Problem solving toolkit


  • Standard document prettifier
  • Triage tools
    • Putting something in the way of lawyers to ward off stupid questions from contractors and reinforce vertical command lines
  • Process simplifiers
    • Removing pointless tech
    • Waste removal: identifying common gives and eliminating escalations