Building Adaptive Capacity - Individuals, Groups and Society

by andrew brown

Andrew Brown

In this paper, Andrew Brown, specialist consulting actuary, warns that the cultural failings identified in the Royal Commission into Australia’s finance institutions will continue unless there is a holistic approach to evolving better corporate culture.

Andrew said findings from the Royal Commission, and the 2018 report from APRA into the Commonwealth Bank, demonstrated where poor culture had severely impacted organisations.

Andrew also said organisations tend to stumble when people focus on processes rather than hold themselves accountable for outcomes, and he discussed key requirements for building adaptive organisations to avoid such problems.


Andrew Brown (pictured) in conversation with John McLenaghan from the HQ Public Policy team discuss questions like:

  • What factors cause venerable public and private institutions to fall from grace?
  • Does culture have to come from the top?
  • Can boards and management really transform culture in large organisations with tens of thousands of employees? How long should it take?
  • Are there generational factors to consider when attempting to make organisations more adaptive?
  • What role do regulators have to play in changing board cultures?

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The Dialogue is a series of papers written by actuaries and published by the Actuaries Institute. The papers aim to stimulate discussion on important emerging issues. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of either the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (the ‘Institute’), its members, directors, officers, employees, agents, or that of the employers of the author