Monday, August 12, 2013

Is inefficiency a feature and not a bug?

Sadly, in too many circumstances it is.  Inefficiency, which ought to be the bane of good government and best practices in every sector of the economy, is, too often a feature and not a bug in the system.  By that I mean that many stakeholders in the economy depend on inefficiency to deliver a paycheck week after week.  This sad reality manifests itself far to often in the built industry, but is not, of course, limited to that industry.

In a recent LinkedIn discussion I had the following to say relative to inefficiency manifested in a VA project.  Feel free to call if your organization is struggling with these issues.

Again, I must raise the uncomfortable question, "Is the waste and inefficiency - not to mention the graft and corruption it obscures - a bug or a feature in the system?" Sadly, I've concluded waste and inefficiency to be a feature and not a bug. 

While there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dedicated government employees working everyday to do the right thing we continue down the same path, again and again. And the politics of those involved matter little. The graft and corruption continues, regardless of which political party is in charge. And again, that's because money and power lie in Washington, D.C. and that's where people who seek money and power go to to acquire it. Kind of like Willie Sutton robbing banks because that's where the money was. 

Set aside the issues related to waste and inefficiency in government and just focus on the built industry. Are there too many people making too much money off of waste and inefficiency in the built industry? In my experience the answer is yes. We can beat up on the VA and other government agencies for following the path they are on, but there's still plenty to be done in private sector. After all, if we had the system down cold it wouldn't be such a hard sell. 

So I'll circle back around to my legal framework hobby horse. If we want to change the culture of the built industry crafting, negotiating and implementing a new and improved legal framework is a good place to start. A legal framework that actually supports and encourages the behaviors we want more of and thwarts and discourages the behaviors we don't want more of seems like a reasonable goal. And deploying that legal framework on a small scale first, in the private sector as a proof of concept, might provide a useful road map to those seeking a better path in the public sector.

Again, interested parties should call.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

Collaborative Construction Website
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