Why is everything going wrong? 5: Competence

Contrary to popular perception, competence is not just an individual attribute but a collective one. Competent people in an incompetent culture will make mistakes; a competent culture can make up for a lot of individual incompetence. As a case study take the...

Why is everything going wrong? 4: Structure

It is perhaps not said often enough but government is in large part a ‘physical entity’. It is not made up primarily of ‘ideas’ or ‘narratives’ but of physical realities and people delivering them. The way those physical realities...

Why is everything going wrong? 3: Detail

There is a good-practice way to develop policy. Ideally it should roughly go identification (find what needs change) then analysis (find out why and how it needs changed) then concept (turn the analysis into a basic proposal) then purpose (it is important to be able...

Why is everything going wrong? 2: Mission

Government is never only about management and presentation. A successful government requires a clear, defining mission if it is not to drift and become either ineffectual, chaotic or incoherent. And if a mission is to be rooted in anything other than adjectives it...

Why is everything going wrong? 1: Control

The Scottish Government has a rigidness of hierarchy which is towards the far end of the scale. More than one Cabinet Secretary has joked in public that they ‘hear government policy on Twitter like everyone else’. No-one really pretends that Cabinet is...

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