Despite the presence of early warning signs, organisations, communities, and nations tend not to act on complex problems until it is too late (Bazerman & Watkins, 2004). Too often, it is only when complex problems escalate to become crises that the seriousness of problems becomes sufficiently widely recognised for action to be mobilised.
Although this failure to act on complex problems is often ascribed to failures of government and private sector leadership, such explanations are partial, at best.
A more complete explanation would accord more responsibility to us, as individual citizens and as members of organisations, communities, and nations. ‘We’ must assume a larger share of the responsibility for our collective failure to act to address complex problems.