Do you work in a “Corporate Death camp”?:: Prof Roger Steare on “Moral DNA”


One thing I have come to really appreciate about the “Corporate Philosopher’s” approach is his pursuit of the root cause of so many of the [Corporate] World’s ills. We can only really get reliable answers by establishing causality. That, albeit from a very different angle of attack, is what I attempt to do in business and what the technology developed by Dr Jacek Marczyk (Founder & CTO – “genius” according to this article) at Ontonix has facilitated with their model-free technology…but there is still a long way to go with spreading such understanding and insight!

But, if we are dealing with sources of systemic risk, that threaten the sustainability and resilience of ALL that we have come to rely upon, then this is a critical mission.

In the “risk society” we tend to get side-tracked, even bogged down, by the sheer volume of information that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Excessive complexity and the promotion of “flawed” correlations are allies of the leading exponents of the sick, prevailing, culture that the Prof. is intent upon “outing”. That is why TRANSPARENCY is such a threat to institutions or organisations that have cultivated and exploited an institutional mentality!!!

Their corruption has even spread to language! Here are some familiar terms, oft used in relation to the Financial sector: mis-information; mis-selling; mis-representation; mis-leading; mis-conduct; mis-appropriation; mismanagement…

Corporations ARE morally corrupt

Flawed leadership, whether called democracy or dictatorship generates gridlocks that block creative brainpower.

I have bored everyone I know and have worked with over the last 10+ years about the “ME culture” so, I was delighted when I was introduced to his work and have, subsequently, shared some of my thoughts with Roger via Linkedin. We are where we are because of skewed incentives and ignorance of the need for us to create a “WE culture – respect for each other and our planet – INTERDEPENDENCE. Like it or not we are all inter-connected…in fact my reference to Linkedin and the phenomenal growth of Facebook ratifies the fact. Our future is shared so we better get our shit together before it’s too late.

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” Confucius

Q: what has this got to do with Ontonix and complexity?

A: whether our perspective is “shaped” by Prof Steare, Confucius, Ghandi, Bertrand Russell, Einstein, David Korowicz, Joseph Tainter, Nassim Taleb, Buzz Holling, Niccolo Machiavelli, Dave Snowden, Andy Haldane or Jesus the message is the same: we are dealing with complex systems; interdependent; non-linear; dynamic; fractal…

Here are some Complexity Facts courtesy of the work of Ontonix

Biological, neural, technological, financial, business, social, etc. They share properties and, as Confucius told us, we need to “look within” to facilitate change: get to the root causes. To me, the problem is the solution i.e. we need to adapt our thinking to the natural complexity, or, as Einstein said:

“I wouldn’t give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

Complexity analyses, that treat data as “autonomous information agents”, enable us to to measure, map and monitor, previously unseen, inter-connections and interactions across scales [from nano to macro]. So we can recognise and address errors and omissions in conventional theory, practice, process and thinking. By getting to the root of matters we have a chance to invest in prevention rather than spending on faux cures…like erecting a fence to contain and airborne virus or treating cancer with painkillers!

So much of what we STILL rely upon amounts (at best) to little more than treating symptoms and, in the process, creating new problems. Too many business and risk management experts understand very little of the nature of complex systems. If they did they might appreciate the ability of such systems to adapt and to self-organise to fulfil its intended purpose.

On the other hand, perhaps they already know that complex systems are only hampered by management structures and techniques from a past era, with the silo-mentality and similar behavioural foibles as manifestations of the culture it creates? It may be that acceptance of these facts is so difficult because it challenges the engrained belief system cultivated over many years and embedded in a wide range of disciplines: in a ME culture that is a threat to my livelihood! 

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