As reported in today’s New York Times, “Egypt Discovers the Flaws in Killing all its Pigs” is a story about unintended consequences happening on managing risk.
“When the government killed all the pigs in Egypt this spring — in what public health experts said was a misguided attempt to combat swine flu — it was warned the city would be overwhelmed with trash.The pigs used to eat tons of organic waste. Now the pigs are gone and the rotting food piles up on the streets of middle-class neighborhoods like Heliopolis and in the poor streets of communities like Imbaba.”
Concern about “swine flu”, which despite the name apparently has nothing really to do with swines, is the result of flaw risk and controls management.
“What started out as an impulsive response to the swine flu threat has turned into a social, environmental and political problem for the Arab world’s most populous nation.It has exposed the failings of a government where the power is concentrated at the top, where decisions are often carried out with little consideration for their consequences and where follow-up is often nonexistent, according to social commentators and government officials.”
This article should be required reading for all decision-making executives and managers.