On taking an interest

I was reading this short blog post by Ton Zijlstra on open government from the Reboot conference. Nothing too radical in asking for a more open and transparant system of government with better access to information. I had also been reading an article on democracy and markets by economics columnist, Ross Gittins, of the Sydney Morning Herald. The Gittins article lamented the fact that having good democracy and having good economic markets relied on having an interested citizenry, yet paying attention to these political and economic issues was lacking.

Having an interested citizenry is difficult “because we take so little interest in the details of problems and their solutions, because we rarely follow up yesterday’s concerns, because our emotions are so easily swayed by vested interests or the media, the pollies (and economists) learnt a long time ago that appearances matter more to voters than the reality of the situation”. One only has to look at economic and currency forecasters to realise that!

And this led me to think about how important it is to take an interest in what is happening in one’s own workplace, even if it does not appear to be of immediate or direct importance. So why is it then that many organisations compartmentalise their workforce so much that to take any meaningful organisational interest is almost impossible, let alone actively encouraged?

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