9 min read • I navigate the perverse incentives that I face as a consultant and hopeful measures to design them away.
You’ve heard of Design Thinking, here’s Private Equity Thinking
Received wisdom on organisations over the last few decades is heavily influenced by “core competency” – that organisations of every kind (business, non-profit, government) should stay in their lane and only do the things that they are good at. Anyone who has taken a strategy course in the last 70 years, or in its trickle down, will be exposed to this due to the ideological allegiance of Michael Porter, Peter Drucker and Harry Igor Ansoff.
It’s a seductive narrative that commingles with the ideas of liberalisation – selling/renting public assets or taking a company public – and meritocracy – that ‘if we were only good enough at this thing then everything will come our way’ – and if we are the best, we are wholly deserving of taking the market for ourselves. The truth is neither meritocracy, liberalisation nor core competency translate to organisational/individual performance or intelligence.