Towards a New Culture of Consultation in which Ideas Flourish

The key to an organizational culture in which ideas flourish is to be found in the ability of the leadership to embrace and manage divergent points-of-view. Hence, effective leadership rests on developing the capacity to manage disagreement and to live with challenge; regrettably, this capacity is often lacking in both the political and business environments.

An organization or country's most valuable assets are in its human resources, the adage says. Yet, many organizations underutilize their human assets by failing to consult them, especially on major decisions. The major explanations for the underutilization of human assets are first, a lack of understanding as to what constitutes consultation and second, the under-utilization of the processes of consultation at the organizational and national levels.

That there has been such wide-spread failure to engage ‘ordinary’ citizens and employees in solving problems is testimony to the fact that human assets

are indeed under-utilized. This under-utilization could also be evidence of lack of competence in the processes of effective consultation, or lack of confidence

in its usefulness. This paper seeks to outline a new paradigm for meaningful consultation.

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