Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"When the boring tasks of governance are not performed, infrastructures don't get built. Then, when epidemics strike, people die." David Brooks 2014

"A few generations ago, people grew up in and were comfortable with big organizations - the army, corporations and agencies.

They organized huge construction projects in the 1930s, gigantic industrial mobilization during World War II, highway construction and corporate growth during the 1950s. Institutional stewardship, the care and reform of big organizations, was more prestigious.

Now nobody wants to be an Organization Man. We like startups, disrupters and rebels. Creativity is honored more than the administrative execution.

Post-Internet, many people assume that big problems can be solved by swarms of small, loosely networked nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. Big hierarchical organizations are dinosaurs.
The Ebola crisis is another example that shows that this is misguided.

The big, stolid agencies - the health ministries, the infrastructure builders, the procurement agencies - are the bulwarks of the civil and global order. Public and nonprofit management, the stuff that gets derided as "overhead," really matters. It's as important to attract talent to health ministries as it is to spend money on specific medicines...."

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