Complexity and “abberant behaviour”

November 16, 2012

This quote from an article by Anthony Hilton originally in the Evening Standard (oddly not available online) and then republished by Bloomberg Business Week struck a chord:

Board papers rarely give directors the information they need to be on top of what matters. This is doubly the case given that almost all reports are numbers-driven, yet the real risk to companies these days is reputational, and caused by aberrant human behaviour which no system devised by an accountant will ever pick up. If this is an issue for the private sector, how much bigger is it in the public sector where management is frequently expected to serve more than one master and where anyone who ever paid tax feels entitled to look over the executive’s shoulder and second-guess his or her actions?

Which is why creating a culture where abberant human behaviour happens less, or at least is channelled into creativity is so important.


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