Sunday, August 29, 2010

Its all about ambiguity!

The current federal political situation in Australia is symptomatic of the problems with First Generation Leadership and Second Generation Leadership. Both of these depend on hierarchy and control. They both make it clear as to where the "real" power lies and who is in charge. They are both totally inadequate for situations where there is a significant amount of complexity and ambiguity.

Of course our media are inextricably linked into this model, too. The impact of this is that on TV, radio, and in the print media we are confronted by calls for "certainty" and an end to what is seen as an impasse. First Generation Leadership (compliance) and Second Generation Leadership (conformance) seek to bring things back to levels of simplicity that can be handled by people who lack the requisite ability to deal with the reality of ambiguity and complexity.

The truth is that the people of Australia have made it clear that they don't really think either major party is up to the task of governing. They don't really trust either party - and with good reason. And the media "shock jocks" especially are affronted by this.

Our two party political system has lied us into wars of choice that have lead to the deaths of 21 soldiers and countless others wounded or emotionally affected. Our two party political system has seen the main contestants vie with each other as to who can be tougher on refugees and the disadvantaged. Our two main political parties wasted their campaigns by rubbishing their opponents and failed to give us any reason to vote for them. Our two main political parties are both subject to the whims and fancies of unelected power brokers with vested and undeclared interests that, in reality, have little or nothing to do with what is best for Australia overall.

Now these parties have to negotiate with people they have tried to marginalise and/or ignore for years - people who once were members of their parties but who rejected them. The scarcely hidden anger and frustration from the establishment is great.

Personally I don't think any political party is a good one - in fact I think political parties indicate a decline in democracy. Equally I think there is a danger in a small number of independents being able to ultimately decide what is done.

We need a new approach to leadership - one that is able to understand and to deal effectively with increasing amounts of ambiguity and complexity. We need to make the shift to Third Generation Leadership.

Please let me know what you think about this. You can post your comments below.

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