Don’t scar on the first cut 16 May 2006
61 comments Latest by Division by Zero
Policies are often the result of something that once went wrong. It’s organizational scar tissue developed from a This Can Never Happen Again mandate. And its almost always ill-considered.
The problem with policies are that they compound and eventually add up to the rigidity of bureaucracy that everyone says they despise. Policies are not free. They demean the intellect of the executer (“I know this is stupid, but…”) and obsolve the ability to deal with a situation in context (“I sympathize, but…”).
Here’s a curve ball: When something goes wrong, have a chat about it, embed the learning in the organizational memory as a story instead of a policy. Stories have context and engage the listeners, so next time a similar situation arise, you’ll be informed by the story and act wiser.
Policies are codified overreactions to unlikely-to-happen-again situations. A collective punishment for the wrong-doings of a one-off. And unless you want to treat the people in your environment as five year-olds, “Because The Policy Said So” is not a valid answer.