The 12 Days of Bureaucracy

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by Staffan Engstrom

On the 12th day of Christmas, my employers sent to me…

  • 12 year-end deadlines
  • 11 report corrections
  • 10 policy statements
  • 9 budget stretches
  • 8 HR memos
  • 7 dozen e-mails
  • 6 meeting invites
  • 5 personal objectives
  • 4 expense rejections
  • 3 Team Briefs
  • 2 on-line courses
  • And a… 360 degree appraisal.

Why is it that when you put enough sensible professionals together for long enough, there is a descent into over-the-top process? Whilst I would rather have a bit too much process than too little, it remains the responsibility of good leadership to find that sensible balance.

A few years ago I became the MD of a multi-business unit organisation that employed around 1000 people whilst making double-digit operating losses. Each of half-a dozen business units had their own head offices, on top of the divisional HQ. In two years we reduced the divisional head office from 45 people to just 3, the business ran better, and surprise, surprise, became profitable.

If you would like to know more, just drop me a line here, and I will happily send you some of the tools that we used to make it happen.