Governments and businesses

Designing business to work with governments is something that Richard Haass talks about in a McKinsey Quarterly interview. Haass is president of the US Council on Foreign Relations and has written several books on the connections between government and business, including The Bureaucratic Entrepreneur: how to be effective in any unruly organization which is packed with ideas, references, and insights on getting things done in any organization where that seems an impossible dream.

The McKinsey interview with Haass focuses on the point that
"around the world they (governments and business) will be partners as well, because increasingly governments will negotiate the context in which businesses will operate-whether it deals with climate change, trade, investment, health. Plus government will also be for the most part providing security.
Increasingly CEOs, when they get up in the morning and look out through their window or across their desk, they are dealing with a range of constituencies that looks an awful lot like what a cabinet member might look at.

You've got independent media. You've got independent workers or unionized workers. You've got all these NGOs who are pushing you to do X, Y, or Z. Well, this is very much a political environment. The idea that you reach these decisions in some sort of splendid profit-and-loss isolation, those days are over-if they ever really existed to begin with. So I actually think each has something to learn from the other."

His viewpoint is one that, if shared by business people, would require differently designed organizations – ones that included a range of stakeholders in the design process, and recognized that their interests needed to be valued, invested in, and included as much as those of the direct employees of the organization.