Who sets standards? & Who has the right to demand them? LO29104

From: Chris Macrae (wcbn007@easynet.co.uk)
Date: 09/03/02

Replying to LO29101 --


The questions you raised (as footnote) implied that you felt that the name
Standards should be used when an institute has a charter (am I right in
reading this implication? if I am wrong, I convey my apologies; if I am
right the question is interesting but I would prefer it framed less
hostilely because I think we can make the case for saying we are in a
shifting world (a definition of which is that many standards are now the
wrong way round)

Let's do some referring to Drucker:

According to Drucker: "The only competitive advantage developed countries
can still hope to have is the productivity of their knowledge workers. The
productivity of the knowledge worker is still abysmally low. It has probably
not improved in the past 100 or even 200 years -- for the simple reason that
nobody has worked at improving the productivity. All our work on
productivity has been on the productivity of the manual worker.
This will require, above all, very much changed assumptions about what
constitutes management. One does not "manage" people, as previously assumed.
One leads them. The way one maximizes their performance is by capitalizing
on their strengths and their knowledge rather than trying to force them into

Peter Drucker: We're in one of those great historical periods that occur
every 200 to 300 years...when people don't understand the world any
more...when the past is not sufficient to explain the future.

Twenty five years ago, in a chapter titled The Ethics of Responsibility,
Peter Drucker warned that the first responsibility of the professional was
chartered 2500 years as the Hippocratic oath of the Greek physician
"primum non nocere" - "above all, not knowingly to do harm". In Drucker's
interpretive guidelines: " managers who fail to work through an
appropriate solution to an impact of their business because it will make
them "unpopular in the club" abet a cancerous growth...that in the end
hurts the business or industry more than a temporary "unpleasantness'
would have hurt". Since then non-transparency has compounded in a way
that Drucker calls a gross violation of ethics. Whether or not you agree
with his description, people will be bound to ask: why would any company
with a future worthy of any stakeholder not want to use transparency
mapping now that the digitalised information -and visualisation - age is
in open flow?

So on the hypothesis of a shifting world of corporate responsibilities and
disadvantages, I have a little catch 22 which may not apply to Alan's uses
of Standards but does to my context. At www.valuetrue.com we assert the
right to be an open source Transparency Standards Community -we do things
like building the world's first Transparency Glossary where any discipline
can pitch in their view of key terms so we can see where they are coming
from ; we have a standard map of the world which is a fundamental
mathematical standard in that any other map of the same context would end
up topologically equivalent - but the last thing we would want is a
charter from the unusual suspects (accountancy boards, academics who frame
things generically out of actual contexts, professions with vested
interests in monetising status quos) who are part of the system problem in
the way that unites us. ( In case this sounds presumptuous: we need people
to try to come up with solutions to the Systems Crisis of big business (eg
cover article Fortune June) and having closely observed the antics of the
big 5 (now 4 accountants) for 10 years, in my personal opinion they are to
be completely disqualified from setting the standards of corporate
governance 2.0; what we need them to do is go back to very simple cashflow
measurements and rediscover the purity of numbers now their ability to
cover up assumptions

So yes I was asking out deep self-interest because if anyone sent me the
questions you publicly sent Alan I would regard them with them with a
certain suspicion of representing the establishment that our community
seeks to change. Equally I don't think the word Standards should be use
lightly; but yes the general question your conversation raised is what is
this group's view on who earns the right to set standards?

sincerely, chris macrae

----- Original Message -----
>From: "Mark W. McElroy" <mmcelroy@vermontel.net>
> Since your reply was to an inquiry on my part about the nature of the
> Australian standards organization referred to by Alan Cotterell in his
> post, I fail to see on what basis you could either agree or disagree with
> my position on standards-making in KM. I expressed no such position. So
> what opinion of mine about standards are you claiming to disagree with?


"Chris Macrae" <wcbn007@easynet.co.uk>

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