Does 1 + 1 = 3?

Posted on Posted in About WTO, We Think, What Do You Think?

Hi to all out there. Our board is all contributing and working together on our blogs and messages, since as much as it is from the organization and underpinned by our shared principles and values, we are also highlighting our own individual spins as well. My first take on this is tackling the issue of transparency in decision making.  


Do you remember back in junior high school when you would write a math test and have to show your work as you went? (Yes, the accountant is starting out by talking about math and numbers – you are supposed to write about what is familiar right?) Back in school, you actually got marks for showing your work, and not just putting down the answer. In fact, just putting down an answer, even if it was right, wasn’t enough to get full credit; sometimes you got points for showing your thoughts/work, even if you came up with the wrong answer.


Funny, how after being schooled and taught to show how you came to your solution and answers, that so little of that practice extends further into life. Why is it acceptable for people to make decisions – big decisions, not just simple math – without telling people how they got there? Why are people left scratching their heads, thinking – wtf? Where did that come from? Why was that decision made? When did we get out of the practice of being transparent on what we were doing?  We all benefit if we are given the proper information understand the thought and reason behind major policy decisions. When we have proper context, it enables more meaningful conversations to occur; furthermore, linking decision-making and planning with budgets and spending ties the money to the promises.


If we understand the why, even if we individually don’t agree with the solution, at least we can have some assurance that there was thought and process into the decision. Just making decisions is not enough. We need to understand how and why. The great thing about math and numbers is that it is logical, and there is only one right answer. There are however, different formulas and methods for different problems, and we need to understand the problem to know if we should be adding or subtracting. Our world is complex, and often there is no “right” answer, but more of a series of trade-offs and impacts to be considered and managed. It is because of the complexity and lack of correct or proven method forward that transparency is critical. The fact is, decisions are and must be made without complete information, and what we can strive for is to use the best information that is available and with key stakeholders having input into timely decisions. Then looking back we are able to see how things have evolved over time, and be more mindful in the future. Without this, people will start thinking that 1 + 1 = 3, and there are no alternative facts that make this an acceptable solution to any problem.


We want to bring greater transparency into the world – starting with taking the data that is available and helping make sense of it at a community level. We would love to hear from you – your thoughts, your ideas – subscribe to our blog, comment below and start engaging with us through this process. We promise, we will be transparent with our thoughts, and in our journey.


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