Being a US citizen is getting to be more expensive every day. The banking industry is headed towards unprecedented monitoring and inspection. This on top of an industry so functionally designed that the number of internal handoffs are already making banks both inefficient and ineffective.
The madness is starting to catch in other areas of government. Take the recent proposal to monitor pilots by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB). The idea was spawned by those pilots that overshot the airport a few months back.
Just like banking when someone embezzles the reaction is predictable even if the event itself is not. Overreaction and making sure that situation never happens again by additional functional separation of work, monitoring and inspection. The fallacy is that we can inspect and monitor our way to improvement, but all this does is add costs that the consumer will pay in either higher prices or taxes.
I have seen this thinking in my home state where Indiana FSSA with all its cynicism is going to prevent $1 million in fraud (over a 4-year period) by additional inspection and monitoring in their eligibility program. This will cost 3 times as much (or more) where a better design of the work would reduce cost in operations and inspection. The price of ignorance is high for those educated but operating under old theories.
And so it is with the NTSB and the pilots. We live in a world of “gotchas” through expensive monitoring and inspection . . . we wake-up one morning with huge deficits and the US public wonders how we got to this point. Government laden with “good intentions” but wrong thinking.
Then government management tells us “not to worry” as we can use technology, shared services and outsourcing to reduce costs. Where the reality is these things almost always increase costs as a good work design and different management thinking would have been a better path. Instead government management locks-in waste through poor work design and we all pay because of it.
As the size of government continues to grow and the deficits get bigger, we have to end the practice of creating more waste and sub-optimization. We will never be able to prevent bad things from happening in every non-life-threatening situation, but we can be smart about better work designs and thinking around the management of work. All this mania will be the United States demise in similar fashion to the Soviet Union trying to keep up in the arms race . . . except we will have done it to ourselves.
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Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public). His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work. Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected]. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.Share This: