TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Don't kill bureaucracy, use it

Bureaucracies are the scaffolding needed to implement new ideas at scale. Just remember to dismantle them when the work is done.

Earlier this year, an intriguing tweet from Tom Peters popped up on my phone. "Virtually all the popular improvement ideas - Continuous Improvement, 6-Sigma, MBO [management by objectives], Agile, Brainstorming, Strategic Planning, PPBS [planning, programming, budgeting systems], ZBB [zero-based budgeting] - develop hardening of the arteries, lose their youthful glow, and become one more burdensome, life-sucking bureaucratic practice," he wrote.

This may sound glib to you. But like many of Peters's observations, it's got a strong foundation in reality. If you've been around for a while, you know that all sorts of business programs ossify after a few years. It happened with total quality management (TQM) and business process reengineering back in the 1990s. It’s happening with D&I (diversity and inclusion) and holacracy now.

Continued here


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