“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and a lack of discipline .” – Jim Collins

At some point, you have to have policies and procedures.  It’s usually because there are a lot of people to manage and it’s easier to point to a set of rules than it is to effectively communicate the desired outcome.  It’s certainly easier than going through a complex hiring process to find good people.

And of course, we are people and we don’t always get along.

I remember counseling three employees who were at odds with each other.  They wanted me to issue a decree that defined how everything was supposed to turn out.  I replied by saying I could do that…create a new rule, but it would come with a price.  That rule would apply to everyone regardless the circumstances and I assured them that in the long run it would be a net negative.  In the end they took my advice and worked it out.

Before you make a policy, question why it’s needed.  If you bump into problems with a rule or policy, question why you have it.  Is there another, better way to solve the issue?  And above all, don’t resort to creating a rule that affects everyone just to get out of dealing with a specific situation with specific individuals.

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