Society is moving from a complicated to a complex reality and these times full of promise pose challenges in terms of policymaking at every level. The fact that we all are connected and the new possibilities opened up by digitalization really disrupt everything.
Still, many large institutions live in the illusion of being in control in a complicated, vertical world. This often hinders new possibilities and options that really could add value to citizens and society.
To change this, these institutions need to reorganize, develop new structures and processes, open legislation and regulation, begin to renegotiate old agreements and do this together with other institutions. All at once.
Working on policy matters demands a huge variety of skills. You need to be both a lobbyist and a diplomat, and be skilled at using both the whip and the carrot – in perfect balance, find the strength to challenge old truths in a resistant environment, be very patient and at the same time be able to remain enthusiastic about the process to keep it going.
People with these kinds of multitasking skills are called driving spirits. They are rare and hard to find. They are also attractive and therefore not common within the public sector. We would need to sprinkle them out across the whole sector of large, old institutions – as catalysts – to make “it” happen faster.
But, on the other hand, maybe the resistance has a good side too. Perhaps the core values of democracy will be secured, thanks to this slow but steady development?