Organisational model

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The Devil’s Advocate

In which the curmudgeonly old sod puts the world to rights.

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What is the role of the executive:

What are the failure modes for the executive. Not necessarily just failures of strategy.

including control frauds. Counter-theoretical, as staff are obliged to operate on the assumption that the executive is not failing, and there is no mode of operation to address the contingency that it might be.

  • No separation of powers
  • No independent checks and balances on the executive (though there are plenty on the operational layer). Just as the firm assumes that there will be operational failures and interposes systematic checks and balances on them, it should assume there will be executive failures and should have systematic checks and balances on them.
  • No questioning of tenets of operation, especially when they have ossified into policy: no re-calibration; no testing that they remain fit for purpose.

Operational failure

The assumption that operational failures will arise from human error rather than poor design. To allow for human error to create operational failure itself indicates inadequate design.

Coordination and decentralisation

Cross-regional and cross-divisional.

What is the role of the coordinator:

  • Set and communicate policy and hear objections
  • Set protocols
  • Agree objectives
  • Agree costing
  • Obtain resourcing
  • Share and communicate
  • Ensure consistency and control quality across the operation

The role and shortcomings of policy

The practical effect of policy on compliance. See design above: if there are unrealistic volume of policy with which every staff member is expected to be familiar, this is an executive failure, not an operational failure