An Agenda for Change

What needs to change to transform our society in the ways needed to achieve new levels of equality, performance, and value creation?  I have nine suggestions in two broad areas.  In general, we need to move from status quo practices to best practices as shown in the table below.



Best Practices

Status Quo Practices


Decision Making Evidence-Based Precedence or Doctrine Based
Decision Influences Transparent Opaque
Process Flow Coordinated Disjointed
Information Flow Seamless Fragmented


Responsibility Value-Based Task-Based
Economics Ecosystem Based Cost Center Based
People Source of Value Source of Costs
Innovation Central to Growth Increases Uncertainty
Philosophy Human-Centered Money-Centered


Let’s first consider operations practices. We need to move away from precedence-based decision making – “We’ve always done it that way’” and doctrine-based decision making – “We have to conform with ideological values.”  A stakeholder that asserts something to be true better have his or her data at hand.  Otherwise, other stakeholders will laugh them off the stage.

It should be very clear whose and what resources are being used to influence decisions.  Hidden influences should be exposed and subject, at least, to the court of public opinion.  The objectives of those trying to “buy” outcomes should be open for all to see. These activities should be documented in Q1 and K1 filings with the SEC.  If these influences do not want public exposure, they should not be in the game.

Digital transformation is central to the changes needed.  This will also require organizational transformation to assure that everyone is running on the same gauge tracks.  Goods and services, as well as associated information, need to move in seamless and coordinated flows of value to all stakeholders.

The success of these changes of operations practices will substantially depend on changes of strategy practices.  Responsibility needs to be driven by value delivery rather than task completion.  Economic models and assessments need to address ecosystem-wide cash flows rather than simply account for gains and losses within each cost center.

Understanding and supporting the roles of people need to become central.  We have long characterized labor as costs of production and tried to minimize costs via work practices, automation, and other technologies.  An alternative view is that people enable value creation, especially when they are educated, trained, and supported to contribute to value.  People, at all levels, can invent, innovate, and drive economic growth.

I am advocating an overall philosophical change.  Our energies, investments and endeavors need to be human-centered rather than money-centered.  The goal is a healthy, educated, and productive population that is competitive in the global marketplace.  Rather than maximizing the Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P indices, we need to maximize human potential and the outcomes of human potential.  As a result, these three financial indices will also be maximized.

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