The terms of reference outlined for this inquiry established the context for a set of values which defined the framework for the way forward.
The problem was articulated using a variety of different analytical methods which served to disaggregate its components allowing root causes and unintended policy consequences to be clearly defined.
Once ring-fenced, this matrix of possible outcomes was codified and subjected to rigorous examination for the purpose of arriving at the true meaning which underlay the whole construct.
To achieve this outcome, a scientific methodology which included drilling down to establish the deep-seated origins of the phenomenon and exploring the bigger picture was applied on the condition that this was done in a structured way.
Which was not to gainsay allowing sufficient flexibility to accommodate a more nuanced approach. The gradual process of interrogating the deeper significance was allowed to run parallel to a less structured – and therefore less formal – research discipline which sought to thin-slice the problem.
The conclusions which emerged from this interrogation were then be allowed to cascade downwards through the organisation where they were further explored by the key disciplines whose own outcomes were affected.
The process was allowed to run its course, unlocking hitherto suppressed critical discourse and giving full vent to those who had unanswered questions. As a direct consequence, this informed the critical discourse which arose.
It goes without saying that the input of a number of key stakeholders was critical to defining the value-set which made up the framework of the inquiry and charted the way forward.
To stimulate this line of thinking, the interaction of complex variables was encouraged by allowing the internal dynamics to surface without disturbing the social cohesion of the participants. As members of the commission will attest, this was not easy to accomplish in a fraught environment.
The involvement of layers of management in a bottom-up inquiry which included a modified grassroots methodology necessitated the re-organisation of aspects of the inquiry inimical to the desired outcomes.
The full universe of possibilities was explored and the dynamics which lurked in the substrata were allowed to express themselves during critical phases of the inquiry in order to fully comprehend the scope of the problem.
Participants were incentivised to seek deeper meaning in the texture of responses which appeared, on face value, to provide little insight of any consequence.
Once this broad range of responses had been curated the process of subjecting them to detailed scrutiny got underway in earnest.
Working as a collective, the members of the commission sought to build consensus on the way forward. Areas of disagreement were set aside in favour of those of commonality and the search for viable alternatives to proposals that were impractical was undertaken.
Once unanimity on the full scope of the inquiry had been established, an outline of the conclusion was developed in conjunction with a parallel process of redefining the approach to expressing all of the variables.
It was at this point in time that the commission encountered a problem as the original terms of reference did not allow for a full expression of the desired outcome. Until these terms of reference are amended to allow the conclusions to be enhanced by the exploration of data-rich nodes of articulation by knowledge workers empowered to identify obstacles, we are unable to offer a coherent conclusion.
* Written for The Times, but the ed just looked at me with strange eyes filled with suspicion