One of my favorite speakers on leadership made a statement that I thoroughly disagree with. He stated in the context of problem solving finite and infinite thinking that business can learn from government the concept of infinite or long term thinking. The problem is on a local, state and federal level government creates bureaucracies that have the power to create rules with a hammer to take your freedom to force compliance with their and I repeat their infinite thinking. A long time ago government figured out anyone that did not go along with their way of thinking was a nail that needed to be hammered. As a result most pieces of legislation have a compliance section that includes various methods of swinging the hammer ranging from fines to imprisonment for not complying with government regulation.
Now what the speaker does not seem to realize is that business is learning from government the managing by compliance methodology. Many business set up internal bureaucracies that create employee and supplier contracts containing a hammer and nail philosophy. The contracts contain multiple ways the company can swing their hammer to punish the employee or supplier for being out of compliance with their rules.
My conclusion is that neither the government of business really practice long term thinking. Long term thinking for both rests on a respect for the people in the case of government and a respect for the employee or supplier in the case of business. As it stands right now the government as an entity does not trust the people and business as an entity does not trust the employee or supplier.