Eliminate Red Tape: Why?

December 6th, 2010   •   Comments Off on Eliminate Red Tape: Why?   

Policies Are Biggest Impediment to Throughput, Effectiveness

Are you interested in boosting performance, efficiency, throughput?  It might be time to revisit the lessons from Goldratt’s “Theory of Constraints” and look at your organization’s rules, procedures, methods.  


The simple conclusion from the book: policies, not necessarily bad ones, get in the way.  Not machines.  Not bad, unthinking people.  What’s the solution?  Think systemically.  

The 1984 Parable  



Policies, in my view, are often designed to deal with the exceptions…the customer who wants to ship to multiple locations with one billing address, let’s say.  So, we create a new policy to deal with the previous ineffective one.  (Look at what much of what comes out of Congress, too.)


In my experience with client organizations, I’ve seen policies — aimed at dealing with 10% of the employees, customers, whomever — take up 90% of the intellectual energy of the business, whether it’s a non- or for-profit organization.  There’s no energy or motivation left to really figure out how we leapfrog from where we are right now.


This kind of stance — to develop solutions for the exceptions — could have negative systemic impacts: many of your best folks could get the wrong message.  


That message might be seen as: “let’s spend a good part of our time and energy on insuring this mistake doesn’t happen again….oh, by the way, we didn’t really get damaged from that mistake…it was just a violation of  another policy…”  In the process, the 97% of the work that’s going well can be ignored, forgotten.  More unintended consequences.  Think whole-istically.  

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: Theory of Constraints. Multiple coordination and parataxis the grahame, hemingway, and biblical examples all use multiple coordination, linking clauses by coordinating conjunctionsin these cases, as in most, by using the word and