Systems of denial in policy making

The concept of systems of denial was introduced in a paper by Andrew Hill and Stephen Gerras about strategic resistance to military innovation. They explored how successful organizations focus organizational energy and attention on refining their dominant theories of competition, often resulting in dysfunctional organizational responses, or systems of denial, to strategic anomalies - inconvenient information - that contradict assumptions.

The behavior patterns of these systems apply not only to successful armies, but also to e.g. IT-departments, businesses and the public sector.

Managing Model-Driven Applications

When implementing a new business application, most organizations feel they need to choose between “build” versus “buy”. Building your own application means everything is possible, but building complex applications is a risky venture. Buying a standard application provides all the advantages of pre-configuration, but has limited flexibility. Although most organizations prefer standard applications, they end up adapting them, leading to high cost of ownership, and long change cycles.

However, a third approach has emerged, reconciling the differences between build and buy. Model-driven applications come with an out-of-the-box configuration, as would be expected of a packaged business application, yet it can be adapted without development effort.

Moving from the vicious to the virtuous spiral

Many commercial and public organizations are caught in a negative bureaucracy spiral. They have numerous points of interpretation, decision making, transfer, translation and evaluation in which the meaning of regulatory and business requirements is lost or becomes eroded. Dependencies are overlooked and anomalies surfaced only after high-risk decisions have been taken. The result is a vicious spiral of frustration and demotivation, stakeholder irritation and considerable financial loss.

Documentation 3.0

Instruction manuals, users guides, and other types of documentation have always been the way manufacturers distributed the how-to information about their products to customers, as well as sales and support staff and other employees.  This kind of catch-all, one-size document forces every user to sift through irrelevant information, applying their own context to find solutions to their problems. Even when they are successful, users remember the experience as painful and tedious.