Gihon Foundation Council on IdeasWorks by WomenBette GrahamHome

Council on Ideas

Garrett Epps
Frank Gehry
Arno Penzias

Direct access to information (a phenomenon that has already transformed factories and industrial production) is now transforming information work—which includes art, literature, science, communications, finance, law, education and management. To keep up with the needs of a changing world, information work must transform itself so as to deal with an explosion of complexity. But while the marketplace is now streamlining information work in the private sector—shifting it from its traditional inward-looking focus toward a more output-oriented focus—no comparable mechanism is yet in place for many areas of government. Therefore much of government no longer maintains its side of the social contract with its citizens. The most likely result of such failure appears to be social collapse. This has already happened in the East and, if government fails to address this problem, we in the West will soon follow the East.

The failure of government we describe is not the failure of individuals. It is common to scold government employees as "Bureaucrats". But the failures of government, by and large, are not failures at the individual level. Government employees are not the enemy; the enemy is government's failure to manage complexity. In other words, the enemy is bureaucracy rather than bureaucrats.

  ©2002 Gihon Foundation • 1793 Catalina Street, Sand City, CA 93955 • (831) 277-9165 •