Member 2604
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Contributor to projects:
The Total Library
Yokohama, JP
Immortal since Apr 23, 2010
Uplinks: 0, Generation 4

Emergent day to you. 2010-04-22 is my knowmad birthday. Think I understood the word. More to emerge.
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    Vision for Lady Justice
    Project: Polytopia

    A Vision for Lady Justice.001a

    Brian Robertson wrote the Rule of Individual Action:

    No matter how clearly we’ve defined the rules, policies, and processes,
    we will occasionally see a need for action which doesn’t fit within the defined system. In most organizations we're tempted to hide such Individual Action for fear of blame, but doing so costs the organization a critical learning opportunity.

    ... the rule of Individual Action tells you to do exactly what people will do anyway: Consider the information available, including the existing rules, and take whatever action you believe makes the most sense using the best judgment available to you. However, when that action falls outside or against existing governance, the rule of Individual Action adds two further steps you must also be prepared to take:

  • Call out your Individual Action, and be prepared to “restore the balance” from any harm or injustice caused (this represents a shift to a restorative justice system rather than a punitive one); and

  • If the action becomes a pattern, bring it up at a governance meeting so that the circle can learn and adapt – thus Individual Action triggers organizational learning.

  • Operating outside the rules or even breaking the rules is thus within the rules, as long as you've genuinely acted using your best judgment, for the sake of the organization, and followed these two corollary steps afterwards. This isn't suggesting anyone should break the rules any more than already happens, it's rather recognizing the reality that it
    does happen and working with it.

    This is one of the concepts so workable (like this big idea) that I find myself wondering why no one has proposed that before. Maybe they have, but it had not found me. Thanks to @mgusek555 for sharing the link. Thanks @technoshaman for the research proposal he added to a prior post on this blog.

    Ethics and Compliance

    To me, this Rule of Individual Action belongs into the toolkit of Ethics and Compliance professionals. And the legal profession, too. Here is why:

    It is future-oriented as much as its counterpart is looking to the past. Like two sides of Justitia's scales, both the rear-view mirror and the windshield are useful if you are on your way forward. We all know which is safer to devote most of our attention to.

    In essence, the precedent seems to be justified by following logic: We are convinced as a society we survive better if we acknowledge the work and wisdom that led to a well-researched, well-documented decision, presumably just to the best of our knowledge at the time. This is efficient and effective because it keeps us from having to repeat history once again. We can identify similarities and differences, read up about it and leapfrog to the conclusion. Time saved, case closed, let's move on. A safe path to guide us in future.

    Until it isn't any more. 

    Ethics and Compliance need a Vision

    Present problem is, invitations or cases to decide whether to rely on precedent or review the rules are coming at us not in a few year's time as it used to be. Changes in rules and context may fly at us every few days, and may be coming up in hours. Despite powerful text storage and search engines, the justification for decision-making must fit into ever smaller windows of opportunity.

    In an exponential future, the rules and language of the past do not hold much water any more. Language is a bizzarre problem requiring new scientific approaches, model-free being one of them (explained in this video).

    Meaning changes with context. With our minds we can process it, to a degree. As a community, we can talk it over, much of meeting time used up to agree on what we really mean and build mutual understanding.

    Emerge The Conversation

    Pictures and video conversation (as in Junto) would help, because they enable learning by watching talk or actions. Especially video helps to confer tacit knowledge, essential to grow collective understanding. Culture, actually. How about working on a more rigorous use of language - augmented language, maybe, so as to not go the legalese way? Balanced with modern media to enable ease of understanding and, naturally, encompassing individual action, how about that?

    Image credit: pacmikey on flickr

    Sat, Jun 12, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Future, collective intelligence, justice
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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