146. Can good governance overcome ”bad” people?
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Could it be possible for governance to be *so* good that the quality of the people don't even matter?



One of the most common reactions so far to my definition of good governance as “the act of intentionally creating effective conditions for making decisions” is that I might be discounting the importance excellent people. In other words, I might be implying that if we create the right conditions then it doesn’t matter who’s in the room. First off, it’s not my intention to imply that at all. I think the people in the room are some of the most important conditions that we need to intentionally work on in our good governance journey. But let’s explore this for a moment. Could it be the case that somehow good governance is possible even with bad people? I mean, every person has *some* kind of strength, right? Maybe we could create conditions where everyone is *only* able to express their strengths and not their weaknesses. Maybe we could supplement our organizational leaders’ lack of care or interest or aptitude with external support? Maybe still, a truly optimized set of conditions could transform a group of duds into a group of stars? I honestly don’t know, and suspect the answers are deeply circumstantial. But one thing I *do* believe is that if you’re a leader in an organization and feel like you’re surrounded by duds, then it really is worth exploring ways to unlock their potential. Sure, some people might just be a lost cause. But why just sit there resigned to the fact that you’re surrounded by scrubs without putting in the effort to turn them into superstars?

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