welcome
cartLogin

Form not function

February 14, 2007

Following up on my reference to form and function in yesterday’s blog (number 200 since I started), this Alex cartoon from the Daily Telegraph gives a cynical but all too true portrayal of form over function.

For those who don’t know Alex, it’s worth getting hold of some of the collections, published each year in book format. The cartoon grew out of Thatcher’s period in power in the UK, and Alex is very much a product of that time. Focused on earning money and on making sure that everyone knows how successful he is, Alex epitomises a culture focused on selfishness.

Polemic aside, the cartoon makes an important point, not just about ethical auditing, but also about health and safety. I would argue that most health and safety regulatory environments are about preventing prosecution and reducing employer liability than they are about health and safety of employees. In the same way asking people direct questions about ethics, when they know the outcome is a nonsense.

Watch this space though, we are working an narrative based approach to ethical auditing, and an approach to health and safety based on ritual. Of course in a compensation culture and an environment dominated by lawyers, it will be necessary to keep the basics in place. I think shortly we will need two functions for H&S. One reporting to legal, the other focused on health and safety itself. For ethics and ethical auditing the problem is more complex, and we need monitoring as well as auditing. I think we may have a solution there and we are looking for some real cases to test some of the ideas out, feel free to get in touch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
ABOUT US

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

© COPYRIGHT 2022. 

Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

In memorandum Tom Armour

- No Comments

I learnt last night of the death of Tom Armour at home in Reston with ...

More posts

Next >

The tale of the wobbly wheel

- No Comments

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day yesterday down at the University of the West of ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram