Thursday, July 6, 2017

The world can lead itself. Better. Distributed leadership leads to more creative solutions. We've known it a while.

They ask who is leading the world. Not to worry. The world can self-lead in amazing complex adaptive systems ways. Always had. Always will. It's just the way of the world. 

Back in 2000 we wrote in a NATO mandated report that more equal footed participation in NATO and global decisions may be a great thing:

"Available knowledge about decision-making mechanisms, and characteristics and management needs, applied to top level national decision settings, i.e. the U.S. President, or international settings that may parallel those leads to recommending organizational adaptation and/or policy solutions for minimizing negative effects of the participation and communications differential affecting the core of international decision making mechanisms."

At the 20th anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine accords, and when we face a potentially ultra-dangerous crisis, we may remind about lessons from "decision-making in six cases: the Bosnian crisis, NATO enlargement, the Gulf I Case, the 2+4 agreement, the Yugoslav Crisis, and Kosovo (as it was happening at the time of the writing). All the six cases combined make a useful set together. They had sufficient differences to account for interesting variance, but they shared many more similarities than one would normally expect given the very diverse types, characteristics, time frames and content of the six cases. The analytical framework used combines knowledge and methodological tools from a rich interdisciplinary domain. 

Major post Cold War international decisions are taken in concentric circles and stages tailored by status and relative power of the participants. An integrated comparative analysis of all the six cases, using multiple advocacy framework of Alexander George, and Organizational Structures, Strategies and Processes of Thompson and Tuden, and other connected models, shows an increase in optimality of decisions taken in cooperative international settings."

Recommendations were "(1) macro level measures for maintaining the overall cooperative nature of internationally taken decisions, and (2) identifying new roles for international leadership within institutions and regimes in the post Cold War era."

We may just be there now. Let's make every crisis into an opportunity. Like it used to be from the mid 1950s at Rand Corporation. Those days led to air-to-air refueling in spite of all of the Pentagon and all of the Administration opposing the brilliant but not fully undressed idea. 

The study: "Conditions for International Cooperative Decision Making The Case of an Enlarged NATO: New Roles for International Leadership Post the Cold War;" NATO Office if Press and Information, NATO HQ, Brussels Belgium, 2000

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.

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