The Behavioral Paradox of Government Policy

As the public sector seeks to fulfill its purpose of safeguarding the freedom and well-being of its citizens, it operates in a world fraught with risk. Government departments and agencies face enormous risks every day, and the role of most government institutions is implicitly or explicitly rooted in managing risks that the private sector is either not equipped or not willing to take—everything from unsafe food and medicine that the Food and Drug Administration must police to the hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans that Federal Student Aid oversees and the threat of terrorism that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must constantly counter. Today, these agencies are coming under increasing scrutiny, and the public’s expectations of them are higher than ever: are they doing enough to anticipate threats? Structural changes in the global economic and political environment have made threats more dynamic and uncertain, which in turn has made answering these critical questions more difficult. As part of our work on regulation and public protection, we have identified important trends—such as an increased focus on “tail” risk events and greater budget pressures—that agencies must adapt to. 

Security and Intelligence

In the past few years, high-profile failures in risk management have had shocking and widespread ripple effects and have led to costly government interventions. These failures served as a call to action, spurring public-sector institutions to strengthen their planning and risk-management practices: what tail risks is the public exposed to, and what monitoring and prevention strategies would be most effective? Agencies must then translate ideas from strategic planning and risk management into operations and effective action. Building on our extensive experience in strategic planning, risk management, and public-sector operations, we are developing perspectives on the challenges that government agencies face in adapting to change and managing risk, as well as how to overcome these challenges.

We help government agencies fulfill their mission of protecting the public in an era of dynamic threats and heightened expectations of government. We collaborate with government leaders and experts globally to develop actionable perspectives on regulation and enforcement. We deliver global solutions across a broad range of intelligence and counterintelligence disciplines. We work with public and private clients to collect and manage data to provide strategic intelligence and strengthen the technology-operating environment. We are ideally positioned to assist government agencies in responding to their most critical challenges, including optimizing portfolio strategy, improving operational performance, and increasing supply chain agility.

Powerful, Proprietary Tools

We regularly convene round tables and knowledge-sharing sessions on regulation and public protection. In addition, we collaborate with respected thinkers worldwide to generate unique insights into these complex topics. Our current research efforts include in-depth studies of two areas critical to protecting the public: Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases and Bioterrorism. We are also identifying best practices and success factors in how government should allocate limited resources across a broad range of risk exposures.

We have developed a powerful suite of crisis-response methodologies and solutions. These help clients set up best-practice crisis-control rooms in a matter of hours or days, rapidly assess the effect of crises on their cash flow, and pinpoint the stakeholders with the greatest potential impact in resolving or deepening the crisis. Our scenario-building tools help forecast how the crisis might unfold—and prepare preemptive actions. Our recovery program templates and rapid design tools ensure accelerated long-term recovery.