Ridding of Rules — a small, useful step to freedom

Doing Away With Stupid Rules


Wall Street Journal, Small Business, July 31, 2012

BLOG’S INTRO: The 1st step of your company’s liberation campaign is dismantling bureaucracy. And you do it to show respect for people intelligence. There is nothing more disrespectful of people brains than saying them: “Your idea is interesting, but we have a policy in the company, bla bla bla.” There is no point in trying to share your vision, your dream for what your company may become if your people feel disrespected in what is most precious to them—their ability to think.
Here is an article on how you can start dismantling bureaucracy in your company.
CAUTION: it will work only within your overall and total commitment to liberate your company; if you are not yet committed to it, you may create more damage than good by killing the rules directing people with no replacement—your vision, plus emerging unwritten norms of behavior in teams—allowing them to self-direct.


Right now, somewhere in your company, one of your employees is rolling his eyes. Make no mistake, it’s because of a policy or rule that leadership created.

The eye-roll—and its cousin, the defeated shrug—are the silent protests of people in every area of your company.

If you want to know the true source and depth of their frustration, there’s only one surefire way: Invite them to a brainstorming meeting.

Once you have gathered your teams together, provide blank sticky notes and ask everyone to pair up. Then present this question: If you could kill or change all the stupid rules that get in the way of doing your work or better servicing our clients, what would they be?


You can read the full article here.

About Isaac Getz

Isaac Getz is an author, conference speaker, senior advisor and currently holds the post of Professor at ESCP Business School.

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