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Thursday, November 17, 2016

What purpose seniority in government?

Donald Trump wants to "drain the swamp" in Washington. What does he mean by that?
  1. Change the leadership
  2. Abandon traditions
  3. Defenestrate obsolescence
  4. Introduce radically improved systems and solutions
Those are things that executives might intend to do. In the American political system that is a product of the U.S. Constitution governed by laws and regulations, making change begins by understanding the capacity to do so. Constraints include the debt and deficit. Other constraints include time and ability to engineer systems and solutions that manifest in laws, regulations, and processes including enabling people and technologies.

Stacked alongside legacy obligations from which priorities are determined, change and improvement are a discretionary investment.

The starting position for the Trump government includes:
  • Deficiently prepared cabinet
  • Misaligned Executive Branch and Congress
  • Deficient and controversial popular mandate
  • Inexperienced and unknowledgeable President
Underlying this chaotic starting position is a bureaucracy that is staffed by a seniority system with certain rules. The seniority system is also prevalent in Congress. Seniority implies higher rank based on having served longer. Often, that condition portends that the incumbents are more knowledgeable and experienced about how that system works. Of course, there are downsides because when there is an insufficient movement among the senior incumbents, the system stifles upward mobility and progress.

President Trump declared that he wants term limits in Congress, for instance. That is his shot at seniority. It is also a shot at the dynamics that ensure continuity in the performance of government.

The American political system that is our government is not something that a newbie President should be tinkering with lightly.

1 comment:

  1. The first actions include: get organized, gain collaboration and consensus. It is not to attack and abandon amidst chaos of your creating.