AGB2009: a balancing act

This part of the AGB2009 series (see the presentation)
AGB2009: a balancing act


In my business experience from late 1980s, I almost never saw a coherent organization- it is more a work-in-progress.

As it should be: you have only to ensure that the temporary incoherences are under control.

There is only one time when you can identify a coherent organization: when you are designing the future structure of the organization.

And also then, you have to consider a concept often forgotten- “phasing in”, i.e. having something working, while gradually each part of the organization will start applying the formal organization.

But if you think that this sounds too complex: it is even more complex when you are actually merging two organizations, or creating an organization built using resources provided by other organizations.

Just in business? No. I saw the same during the early 1980s in politics and while serving in the Army, and elsewhere:

With few details, any organization suffers the same fate.


Few decades ago, the European Parliament started being directly elected by citizens.

Accordingly, a sequence of treaties and agreement gradually strengthened the European institutions.

It was a further step toward converting an international organization, built over the ashes left in Europe by WWII, into a representative supra-national entity.

The European Parliament received some of the usual powers of a national Parliament, but the European Union has still multiple power-centres, from the Council (representing the member states), to the Commission (the “EU Government”), etc.

Members of the European Parliament are democratically elected, but they represent EU-wide interests, not really the interests of their constituencies.

The Committee of the Regions, closer to the citizens (its members have to be hold a mandate in their own country), lacks the powers to balance the other institutions.

If the “head of the EU” will be elected directly, how would the EU-wide elections be balanced with the representation of the local interests, without falling into the issues that have been troubling the US Senate?

Where will come the resources needed to ensure that both the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions can counterbalance the Council and the Commission?

How will the legislative powers distributed?


This bibliography is slightly more “technical”- nothing is worse that an uninformed discussion on the future of political or business organizations:

Daniel Guéguen, “The New Practical Guide to the EU Labyrinth”, 2008 ETI
a nice summary, with some puzzling digressions, but useful as a quick introduction and “navigation map”
Gary King – Lyn Ragsdale “The Elusive Executive”, 1988 Congressional Quarterly
ignoring some of the explanations looking (and, of course, finding) explanation in the statistical data enclosed, it is a data-based discussion on how different US Presidents managed the relationship with the US Congress and Senate
Gat, Deudney & Ikenberry, Inglehart & Welzel, “Does History March in One Direction?”, Foreign Affairs July/August 2009 (available online for free)

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