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The sub-systems of organisations predominantly experience themselves as risk-bearing. The reason for this is that many people, teams, departments, areas, locations, regions, network partners etc., are dangerously affected by most decisions, but usually only very few make any risk-bearing decisions. Examples? When choosing the pope all cardinals decide, but all Catholics must live with the decision. In a large, international concern the management team decides that a central product must be relinquished and all employees must live with this. Sales decides about a different sales strategy, and marketing, purchasing and factoring must live with it.

Nearly every decision-making process affects people who have no say.

If you wish to understand, lead or advise organisations in this regard, you can examine how this aspect of decision-making is designed. How well do organisations or individual areas cope with surprises, the undesired and adversities? How robust is the organisation? How competent are the risk-bearers in relation to undesired aspects, of decisions made, within or outside the organisation? Where and how do resistance, boycotts and ignorance reliably arise? Will this be shaped formally or informally? Where and how are dialogue, discourse and influence sought? Where do escalation or veto rights exist? At what point are risk-bearers informed about possible side effects that their decisions will cause at the fault lines of the organisation?

These are only a small number of the questions which occupy themselves with the danger poles of the guiding process ‘Dealing with the future’. Nevertheless, they give a first impression of the fact that every organisation develops patterns, which can be functional or dysfunctional.