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Complex Knowledge two more examples to why it matters

In the UK, there were two public disclosures within a 24-hour period, which provided more examples that Complex Knowledge in a documented form is no longer fit and is the causality of deeply rooted systemic risks.


The first relates to the collapse of Carillion. The parliamentary Business Committee has been cross-examining the Carillion auditors. The first surprise is that Carillion used KPMG as its external auditor and Deloittes, as its internal auditor. You would imagine this type of check and balance for strengthening the audit line of defence would be exemplary, all be it expensive. But as we have repeatedly reported, there is a material gap between perception and reality. The auditors do not check substance as it is too ‘complex’. This is particularly true for documented Complex Knowledge needed for governance and control. Rachel Reeves, who chairs the Business Committee stated annual reports were a worthless guide to the health of the company and it was impossible to get a true sense of the assets and liabilities, which questions Carillion’s corporate governance. Wait until the Business Committee investigates below the monetary dimensions into the very fabric of documented controls and procedures!  


Another area of Complex Knowledge relates to the NHS and the volume of prescription errors. A major report from the Government says such errors could be contributing to as many as 22,300 detahs a year. No wonder NHS litigations costs and pay-outs are running into billions of pounds every year, and the numbers are rising. The prescription of drugs is another area of Complex Knowledge. Though the spotlight is on the NHS, it should also on on the Pharmaceutical firms as their documented ‘Complex Knowledge’ for the prescription of drugs is not fit for purpose either.


Complex Knowledge is the synthesis of regulatory, statutory, legal, tax, tariffs, policies or procedural matters that are applied in practice. Surely, it is time for leadership to turn its attention to this problem though it does require a different sense making framework to convention.


It is time to start thinking differently.




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Freddie McMahon

Freddie McMahon

Director Strategy and Innovation

DF2020 Ltd

Member since

04 Aug 2017



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