Tired of dealing with bureaucracy? Feel like nothing is getting done because of all the red tape?
In his latest Pinkcast, Dan Pink notes that the longer we work within a bureaucracy, the more likely we are to absorb the wrong-headed values and practices.
However, there is a way to break through bureaucracy, and for help with that, Pink takes a look at the bestselling book Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them. Authors Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini make a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better.
Hamel and Zanini suggest that the best way to bust a bureaucracy is to start with yourself using the Bureaucracy Personal Inventory, the BPI.
At the end of every week test whether you’ve acted like a bureaucrat or a human being by asking yourself questions such as (with my answers in parentheses):
- Did I hold onto power when I should have shared it? (I’ve never had power.)
- Did I fail to challenge a counterproductive policy? (I’ve asked numerous times: “Are you sure you want to put me in charge of this?”)
- Did I fake enthusiasm for one of my boss’s ideas? (I don’t know; I’ve gotten so good at fooling myself.)
- Did I play it safe when I should have been bold? (Us accountants aren’t paid to be bold.)
Hamel and Zanini claim that bureaucracies will start to crumble when more of us just stop acting like bureaucrats.
Here is the video:
And here’s part of the review of Humanocracy from Amazon:
Humanocracy lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings inside them.
Critical building blocks include:
Motivation: Rallying colleagues to the challenge of busting bureaucracy
Models: Leveraging the experience of organizations that have profitably challenged the bureaucratic status quo
Mindsets: Escaping the industrial age thinking that frustrates progress
Mobilization: Activating a pro-change coalition to hack outmoded management systems and processes
Migration: Embedding the principles of humanocracy—ownership, markets, meritocracy, community, openness, experimentation, and paradox—in your organization’s DNA
Perhaps just like there was a need for trustbusters, it looks like there may be a need for bureaucracy busters.
I don’t think most people grow up wanting to be a bureaucrat…, or be part of a bureaucracy. So my guess is that once one person starts to bust a bureaucracy, he or she will quickly gain some followers…
*image from Gary Hamel