Oversight or oversight?

Oversight or oversight?
One word – two meanings!
According to Dictionary.com
  • Oversight = the action of overseeing something.
  • Oversight = an intentional failure to notice or do something.
So which is it? What have we seen.
The Board of a company, or governing body, is required, by law, by codes of governance and by convention to exercise oversight.
In South Africa the current cases of KPMG, SAP, McKinsey, SABC, SAA, Eskom, Transnet. In Hollywood the case of The Weinstein Company and the greater Hollywood community. In recent times (and in a range of places) VW, Wells Fargo, Samsung, Uber, Tata, Equifax (I could go on and on). Which has it been – oversight or oversight?
What will it be going forward? More oversight or more oversight?
Oversight is all about what we choose to see and what we choose not to see. Boards and governing bodies of all kinds of businesses and organisations, public and private, high profile and invisible have to ask themselves the questions what are we seeing, what are we looking at – as well as what are we not seeing, what are we choosing not to see. I would argue that to exercise oversight (the good kind) we need to examine what level of oversight (the bad kind) are we allowing, tolerating or even choosing.
What we see, and the ‘lenses’ through which we see them – the lenses of our assumptions, our experience, our expectations – will determine what level of which types of oversight (and the mix of the good and the bad) that informs decision making throughout the organisations and subsequent actions of the organisation – and the resultant impact. This impact could be good or bad, positive or negative – but starts with how we choose to view, and exercise oversight.
Your thoughts are welcome.

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