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Business bloggers at Harvard Business Review discuss a variety of business topics including managing people, innovation, leadership, and more.

Bureaucracy Must Die

Unfettered controlism cripples organizational vitality.  Adaptability,
whether in the biological or commercial realm, requires experimentation—and experiments are more likely to go wrong than right—a scary reality for those charged with excising inefficiencies.  Truly innovative ideas are, by definition, anomalous, and therefore likely to be viewed skeptically in a conformance-obsessed culture.  Engagement is also negatively correlated with control. Shrink an individual’s scope of authority, and you shrink their incentive to dream, imagine and contribute.  It’s absurd that an adult can
make a decision to buy a $20,000 car, but at work can’t requisition a $200 office chair without the boss’s sign-off.

Learnt also in the Urban Mill Ecosystem:
”Make no mistake: control is important, as is alignment, discipline and
accountability—but freedom is equally important. If an organization is going to outrun the future, individuals need the freedom to bend the rules, take risks, go around channels, launch experiments, and pursue their passions. Unfortunately, managers often see control and freedom as mutually exclusive—as ideological rivals like communism and capitalism, rather than as ideological complements like mercy and justice. As long as control is exalted at the expense of freedom, our organizations will remain incompetent at their core.

There’s no other way to put it: bureaucracy must die. We must find a way to reap the blessings of bureaucracy—precision, consistency, and predictability—while at the same time killing it. Bureaucracy, both architecturally and ideologically, is incompatible with the demands of the 21st century.”

Your Company’s Purpose Is Not Its Vision, Mission, or Values

Share Purpose, Imagine Impact ! Add a new layer on Vision, Mission or Value statements. Craft a purpose statement. To inspire your stakeholders to do good work for the organisation, find a way to express the organization’s impact on the lives of customers, clients, students, patients — whomever you’re trying to serve. Make them feel it.