Reinventing Governance by Reinventing How We Collaborate

Jean-Daniel Cusin

Corporations, governments and other large organizations function share several typical “features”:

  1. Power is concentrated at the top (Lord Ashton recognized this problem: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”)
  2. The people impacted by the decisions rarely have input nor buy-in to these decisions (this violates human rights, the concept of democracy and minimizes accountability)
  3. The decisions serve the organizations’ own interests, as opposed to being broad based and sustainable (this ignores the interconnectedness of all things, and the responsibility we have toward society)
  4. The decision making is polarized, has unintended consequences, and does not achieve the intended result (it speaks to the failure of organizations to capture the full variety of aspects and issues that must be understood and contended with. Ignoring these for the sake of simplicity is simple minded)

My idea: We inherited the bureaucratic structure of our organizations from an era where most people were illiterate serfs. Today we have a completely inverse model where people are literate, we have the Internet, and we have the interest and capability to manage our own destiny. The opportunity is to reinvent how we collaborate as members of organizations and of society to govern more effectively.

About Jean-Daniel Cusin:

Jean-Daniel Cusin has over 25 years of business management experience working with organizations in virtually every sector of activity from mining to pharmaceuticals, food preparation to software development, service organizations and non-profits to heavy manufacturing. His areas of focus includes operational improvement, business process and operational optimization as well as structural and leadership alignment.

Today, he is specialized in effective organizational processes, structures and governance. He recently launched a new venture called e-Deliberation that supports organizations and groups with the deliberation and resolution of “wicked” problems — problems that are multi-dimensional and that impact a lot of stakeholders. Mr. Cusin feels that most the problems we face as a society are “wicked” in that they are apparently intractable, complex and impact a lot of people. Hence his interest, and motivation to do something about it.

Mr. Cusin was born in Switzerland, is a Canadian citizen and lives on the Island. He obtained his M.A. in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University.

2011 IdeaWave