What Is Your Systems Strategy?

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Michael Brooks


September 15, 2011

What Is Your Systems Strategy?

I was really inspired reading Umair Haque’s “A Six-Step Extreme Makover For the Economy.” Haque’s post encapsulates all of the most dysfunctional tendencies in our economic incentive structure and how we can redesign incentive systems for smarter economies and healthier societies. I’ve excerpted Haque’s six step’s below:

1. Detox. While most advanced economies claim to be "post-industrial," the plain fact is that capital-intensive, rapidly depreciating, high-maintenance, often downright self-destructive industrial age stuff still receives the lion's share of subsidies: oil, water, big food (or food-like products, at any rate), "banking."

2. Get a makeunder. Massive swathes of eyeliner, and gigantic dollops of foundation on the proverbial pig — they perpetually let us overstate real prosperity, as it matters in authentic human terms.

3. Cut up the credit card. In most advanced economies, debt is subsidized (through tax shield effects, and the like). The result is a structurally tilted playing field that incentivizes debt and accelerates bubbles and crises.

4. Hit the gym. It's one thing to limit subsidies for centuries-old stuff. It's another to reward groundbreaking breakthroughs — and I'd argue that most of our methods for doing that are grossly inefficient.

5. Go to charm school. Let's face it: our institutions need far sharper checks and balances if we're going to prosper, for civil society's been rendered as toothless as a kitten.

6. Diet. Let's simplify the onerous, socially pointless complex tax code. Here's a simpler, better approach: if it's harmful to people, or useless to society, tax it. If it's beneficial to people, useful to society, don't.

Personally, I love this list because it is clear, radical and elegant. It’s in line with some of the insights we have been coming to in our research on social change at CivicActions. Specifically, we are seeing more and more movements addressing the core mess made by outdated and poorly designed systems. Movements like 350.org, Mind Apples and Beyond Zero Emissions are detox-based movements. They are detox in the sense that they are attempts to direct the way we do things towards more intrinsically sustainable and enjoyable ends. Whether starting a grassroots movement dedicated to happiness for everyone (Mind Apples) or crowdsourcing the post-carbon transition of a major industrial economy (Beyond Zero Emissions) these groups are moving towards ideal outcomes instead of managing a dysfunctional systems.

So much of our political energy, intellectual capital, and time investment go to dysfunctional, failing or historically out of date models and approaches. We have too many resources dedicated to the toxic economy and addressing its excesses versus investing in new models and systemic overhaul. This reality is both daunting and potentially cathartic. Social and economic detox is essential for any long-term strategic success. Ultimately the most interesting and dynamic initiatives, movement and businesses will play a detox role. The detox is going to both incredibly socially important and where many entrepreneurial opportunities will arise.

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Ye Ye Jianying in the civil war when he was chief of staff, Marshal position second only to the ten Zhu, Peng, why he had the ten marshals in the column last name? comment here put aside when the title (especially high-ranking officers) need to consider the qualifications, exploits, look at the current situation: after the 1952 military rating military chief of staff at all levels is generally defined as subject to the military level. Cancel the military officers at all levels on a general and deputy chief of staff at the same level, such as the Army deputy chief of staff at the same level with teachers, head teachers, deputy chief of staff with the same level. Therefore, when the Army Deputy Chief of Staff Commander, head of the general as deputy chief of staff when the division level tone (in terms of level alone), and teachers when the Army chief of staff, division chief of staff when the head is definitely improved. but war is not the case, only one rank cadres were not level, can not simply take the current set of circumstances at the time the military level; second time, unlike the general staff at all levels Now this sound, especially the General Staff, only a few institutions, responsibilities and rights can not and are now compared. three areas was relatively independent of the strategy, communications has not been so easy, especially military officers at all levels, major field army commander has considerable independent command. Therefore, chief of staff at all levels, not necessarily military officers over the next level of high status, major field army chief of staff may not be higher than the Corps Commander. such as Liu Yalou before any fourteen Northeast Field Army Corps commander and chief of staff of the Northeast Military Region; Yan Kyu fourth column to the Northwest Field was promoted to deputy commander and chief of staff of the Northwest Field Army Chief of Staff; east china military area Olivia and the Third Field Army Chief of Staff during the Korean War of Article Fourth Army commander agent; solution side was the first Corps generals, twelve Corps chief of staff, part-forty, when the Battle of Hainan Island deputy commander of the military, he served fifteen Corps Thirteen Corps Chief of Staff Chief of Staff and Volunteers. fact, not only our military, in the Kuomintang army in this phenomenon is common. Such as the Corps chief of staff, not to mention less than the commander, even when teachers are reluctant to prefer when the corps chief of staff. Guo Qiao send second theater was the chief of staff and deputy commander of the Executive Department of the ninth Army commander, but he would prefer that people call him Hu Tsung-Sheng Wen's first theater chief of staff (appointed 1946), when only three years later had a commander. Of course, the KMT army chief of staff is another matter. In 1946, the KMT to accept the recommendations of the U.S. advisers, decided to emulate the United States, the reform of the military system to remove the Armed Services Committee, was built in Department of Defense. no commander in chief of the Kuomintang army, Defense Minister nominally is the highest military officer, but in fact there is no right post. Ministry of Defence General Staff headquarters, has a national military command authority, as the supreme military command bodies, great power, directly under the Army General Staff Headquarters, General Headquarters, the General Command of the Navy, Air Force General Headquarters and joint service headquarters, Chen Cheng, Chiang Kai-shek's trusted generals, as chief of staff, in charge of military orders power. Thus, the War of Liberation Army chief of staff of the Kuomintang and the People's Liberation Army chief of staff position in the military is different, not war after the army's Chief of Staff General commander, deputy commander of the third-ranking. (Xu)