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Is your board in denial about a risk that is obvious yet nobody will acknowledge? Maybe it is hidden in plain sight because to admit it would challenge a key policy and require a major rethink? Imagine for a moment that your board is the government of a country, one following a policy of social engineering that isn’t working. What can you do you put it right?

Your government was voted into power on a populist mandate to stimulate the economy and provide jobs by restricting the eligibility of foreign workers. Introducing a visa scheme for non-nationals resulted in many leaving the country and others not bothering to enter. The policy appealed to voters who view foreign workers as a threat to their own jobs, but it also removed a whole raft of workers in sectors where indigenous workers were already scarce.

You blamed a sudden shortage of lorry drivers on poor planning by the road haulage industry, likewise you blamed a sudden shortage of baggage handlers on poor planning by the airline industry. Nobody in your government accepted that the policy of social engineering might be the cause. Had you listened to your fruit and veg farmers they would have told you the model was flawed, but you ignored their advice on how the low wage sector actually works.

You claimed to be shocked when a foreign owned ferry company sacked your nationals and replaced them with cheaper foreign labour, but were powerless to stop it because the company contracting them lay outside your jurisdiction. You recognise that market forces mean that employers will always find cheaper labour in order to reduce operating costs, but you find it impossible to make low paid jobs attractive to your own nationals, those accustomed to seeing foreign workers in them.

The irony is that your government would instinctively view social engineering as something only done by a totalitarian regime, not a free trade one like yours. You seek to blame economic stagnation on forces beyond your control such as a global pandemic or acts of war, but in reality the economy has been negatively impacted by your catastrophic policy of social engineering.