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.

It may be obvious that smarter ways of creating and executing policies will be prime targets for systems of denial. Organizations that want to innovate by implementing systems based on contextual intelligence, cognitive computing, robotic process automation (RPA) and similar smart systems for various types of knowledge workers, must be extremely alert to spot resistance symptoms.

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Published in 2016.