Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting the Right Thing Done for Society

(Contributed by Courtney)

Is operating Government like a business really the best thing? Many citizens wonder why things get addressed so slowly and question all of the “hurdles” that bureaucracy adds on. Can society be better served by those who have more of a closed and intimate decision making process rather than try convening a town meeting each time there is a discussion? The answer is different for everyone… it depends on who you ask.

I like to think of Government (be it Federal, State or Local) as a protector. They provide a safe haven and create an environment that many in this world would die to have. Government can be seen as an entity formed to serve as a moral compass for leading people towards safety and an improved quality of life. With the goal of common good in mind, Government promotes an open process to gather all the stakeholders together prior to decision making. Although Government is often criticized for being slow and some what unclear, it can also be viewed as holding a vision for the future and can be applauded for not moving forward based on gut reaction.

Corporate America also belongs in society. Corporate America is a force that drives the world economic market, claims victory when trampling the competition, and supplies the world’s population with commodities to make the globe turn. Their focus is narrow and specific, making Corporate America much more clear and concise. They are driven by profit. Each outcome is defined and precise… no variation... there is no gray. Corporate America has enough flexibility to make decisions in a split second, and has few controls when deciding what is right for them.

The two cultures are poles apart. So is it all about the population who will benefit from the efforts or is it about the dollars spent and saved at the end of the day? That brings us to the ultimate question… do you do what’s right or what matters when managing a business?

In my opinion… there is no doubt as to how Government should operate.

(Editor: Courtney points out an interesting polarity that is worth considering more deeply. She asks: Is it appropriate to run our government like a business? Can you serve the needs of the general population by taking a business approach to dealing with public issues? Any thoughts?

I invite others to join in this discussion. )