Fewer Policies – More Conversations
I know they’re necessary, but I hate policies.
Leaders who love policies hamper leadership and hinder organizations.
Policies are the result of leadership distance.
The further you are from the action, the more you need policies to control people that you don’t know and outcomes that you can’t see.
- Instruct new employees.
- Guarantee outcomes in large or growing organizations.
- Answer reporting needs in highly regulated industries.
- Create busy work.
- Make weak leaders feel powerful.
- Drain energy from people who actually do the work.
- Stifle creativity and innovation. If you do all the thinking, they feel like trained monkeys.
- Protect and promote inept employees. Did you just write a policy that applies to a lousy employee, but hobbles everyone else?
Policies are pattern makers.
- Don’t write a policy for an exception. Protect the freedom of employees by taking time to deal with exceptions as exceptions.
- Write policies in response to negative patterns.
- Establish high-standards not baselines with policies. Don’t write policies that describe minimums. If you do, you’ll get mediocrity.
- Rewrite policies if you frequently make exceptions. Enforce policies; don’t turn a blind eye.
- Describe what you want, more than what you don’t want.
According to Forbes, the third richest man in the world is Amancio Ortega (66.5 billion). You might imagine Amancio sitting at a huge desk in a posh office. But, when he worked at his company, he sat at an open table rubbing shoulders with his designers and buyers.
Here’s a policy you might try: Minimize or eliminate policies that create distance between leaders, managers, and employees.
Choose conversations over policies.
Policies are necessities. Just don’t hide behind them.
Warning: Once you write a policy it’s like the ten commandments, written in stone.
What are the marks of a good policy?
When do policies go wrong?
The intent of policy is always enacted wildly on the ground level. So dictate less, talk more. Only write policies which apply to the majority and help to free up the leader’s brain power to improve the organisation by standardising routine matters.
Thanks Albert. You point out one motivation behind policies, freeing minds. If we have a policy, we don’t have to think about it. Why reinvent the wheel. It’s just sad when policy makers go too far.
Thanks for this, Dan. Policies, like regulations, are comforting to those who seek rules or direction, can save time, but can be stifling to those who want to make a difference or who’s particular situation wasn’t foreseen at the time the policy was written.
Our forefathers wisely chose to have tariffs and taxes expire after a time period, unless renewed by Congress. This wise practice has been largely abandoned, and resulted in a largely unworkable tax code. In a like manner, policies required periodic review to ensure that they are needed, relevant, clear, current, and minimal.
Policies should never trump common sense and doing what is right. Those who circumvent policy should be asked to explain themselves, then sanctioned or rewarded as appropriate.
Thanks Marc. Love the illustration of tariffs and taxes that expire. Perhaps one important policy is the one about reviewing and eliminating policies.
When people don’t know why they are doing something, either explain why it matters or eliminate the policy.
I love the notion you are talking about – reframing policies and conversations – and giving people to engage with the ideas of what the policies are extended to create or co-create.
Innovation Research shows that when two groups were set up to innovate together, yet the context and instructions were different – they got totally different levels of innovative outcomes. One group was given a room with no instructions of what they could or could not do – the other room was given some constraints surrounding the innovation process.
Which do you think got the most innovative outcomes?
Surprise of no surprise – it was the group with constraints. The constraints represented mental markers to guide the conversation – yet because of the freedom in the instructions which were ‘bigger than the constraints’ – the constraints became facilitative – or opened up new thinking about – ‘so we can’t do this – however what if we could do this….’
So how we view a constraint, and how we use it can set into place a ‘mental reframing that opens our brains to newer and even bigger thinking.
More about this in my new book: Conversational intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results!
Thank you Judith. You give us a wonderful illustration of the benefits of constraint. It would be interesting to view policy making as the job of establishing constraints that fuel creativity.
Love your book! I have both hardback and audible versions. Cheers
Thanks so much for appreciating my work!
Love your blogs!!!
Some of the most stimulating I’ve ever read…
Judith- this is interesting.
Perhaps when there is an expectation/ permission to be creative- ( without entrenched systemic fear), guidelines or parameters can help to channel and focus creative energy in helpful ways.
I wonder if the danger of policies, becomes most apparent in top-down ( I-centric cultures), where there is not a cultural expectation or permission for people to be creative. In such cases the policies often serve less as constraints that fuel and harness creativity and more as tools for greater control from on high. Tools of control that enable lazy leaders, to avoid engaging and connecting with their team and the issues- easily becoming the stuff of great Dilbert cartoons- but sad organizational disempowerment and disengagement.
I wonder whether the innovation research would be impacted by such a top-down, I-centric culture- where fear of judgement, fear of getting it wrong… permeates the hearts, minds and soul of the organization and its people.
I want to clarify my comment and query above.
I should mention that I am a huge fan of your work!…and have studied and integrated what I have learned from your books “Creating WE”, “The DNA of Leadership” and the most recent “Conversational Intelligence”, into so many areas of my life.
The research you site is very interesting- in terms of the importance of constraints to help channel creativity. What I wonder about is- are there constraints to this principal?
I’m not sure I fully understand your question….. “are there constraints to this principal” so you may need to write it another way. What I can share is that constraints were not used to mean “policy constraints” or “policies as constraints.” They were used to give people thought provoking elements to give direction to thinking which galvanized the team immediately in a shared focus. Too often total freedom creates a need for some people to emerge as leaders – like in leaderless groups – and this condition provokes conflict amongst members of them team … which provokes power struggles and the team fails to galvanize around the important creative task.
As for policies being constraints – I would say that if they can be used to ‘create conversations about how we want to work together – and those working together create rules of engagement together or co-create them – then the policies are not compliance drive but they are a shared co-creation of the team…. and will galvanize the team to higher levels of productivity and self-expression.
Hope this makes sense, and if it doesn’t let me know.
Makes a lot of sense!
I especially love the idea of policies, not as sources of compliance-driven, top-down control, and not in place of conversations, but as a catalyst for stimulating co-creative, galvanizing conversations!
That would be ideal!!
Another point: the more policies you have, the greater the chance that some of them directly contradict one another, unless you spend disproportionate time and effort checking,cross-checking and re-checking that this isn’t the case.
Whilst this all makes work of the working man to do, as Flanders and Swann put it, it’s almost entirely unproductive. How much do you really NEED a new policy?
Thanks Mitch. Yes! Isn’t it sad that we can have so many policies that they contradict each other.
A very informative post indeed. The concept of policy is good. It intends to shape people and organisations. It provides meaning for the existence of an organisation.But the people who execute it or interpret it make all the difference and its impact to the people and organisations. I agree with you that good policy always encourage and connect people. It should not provide tool to someone to interpret in their Cavour. Good policy should be less subjective. More importantly, people should own it, and emotionally believe it.
It is the interpretation that make policy wrong. When policy does not address the need of its various stakeholders, it may be wrong. I strongly believe that it is the top management who can make policy responsive or reactive.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. You turn our attention to the issue of interpretation and execution. Part of the policy making process should be asking those who implement what the policy means and how it impacts work.
Dan, I love this post! Kapow!!- you nailed it!
I pressed post too soon!….I had a little more I wanted to share…
I have an allergic reaction to policies.. when they are used to replace human judgement. Overuse or misuse of policies is a crutch that cripples not only the team- but it undermines leadership as well. I love… conversations over policies!!- Leadership is, at its essence, an supremely human endeavor. Policy making is a mechanistic undertaking. When mechanics replace humanity, it is no longer leadership.
Thanks for this stimulating perspective! Lori
I have three sayings about polices.
1) If you can not police the policy you do not need them.
2) Don’t put a million dollar fence around a ten dollar cow.
3) Weak leaders that avoid confrontation use policies.
One company I worked for had a “dog at work policy” because an employee brought their dog to work. Is a policy on common sense also required ?
I worked somewhere once that had a dress code policy that said, “dress professionally… and no open toed shoes without stockings” because at some point in the past, there had been an intern who wore flip flops every day. So, instead of just talking to that person, they immortalized the situation with this silly policy that drove all the female employees crazy. No one under 60 wears panty hose with open-toed shoes.
Thanks rdkaye. You’re nailing one of the problems with policies. WE use them as a crutch. Rather than dealing with people face to face, we hide behind a policy.
Thanks Mike. You sure know how to get a point across.
The “dog at work” policy is priceless!
Policies are very much like laws. Believe it or not, we have laws or warnings simply due to the fact that “someone has performed that act”. In our current world which is lathered in law suits over every possible reason you can imagine, we have to protect the not-so-smart. For example, we actually have a label on a hair dryer stating that it should not be used while the operator is in the bathtub….. REALLY?
I do not contend that organizations need policy for every action, but, they should exist if those actions are important, performed by many or is something done repetitiously. These policies and procedures serve a very important role and it is up to an active leader to determine the effectiveness of them as conditions or application may dictate.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a policy is written as the result of what one employee did, rather than having a conversation with that one employee. Good post Dan!
Thanks Diana. Exactly!
I develop school board policies for a living, and I’ve been on a one-woman mission to reduce the number of policies we have (we’re down to about 90 from over 350) and communicate transparently about the rationale for the policies that remain. I often tell people that I hate rules, and that’s why I write them for a living — other people’s rules don’t make sense to me. 🙂
More policies means it’s harder for people to know them all… and that results in a culture where people feel like there are all these secret rules that you don’t find out about until you get in trouble. More policies also gives compliance-minded people the impression that they don’t have to do the right thing if there is no policy about it. Another mantra of mine: we don’t have a policy about breathing either.
Policies are good when they communicate unacceptable means of achieving goals (like ethical standards), and they are also good when they make relationships easier by making it the policy’s fault when an employee has to communicate a tough message in an emotionally charged situation. It’s much easier for a manager to say, “I’m sorry I can’t approve this day off during the week of testing because our policy defines this as a critical period.” Policies in this latter category also help organizations think through tough decisions in an emotionally neutral setting so when the emotionally charged situation comes up, we can act with consistency and in the best interest of the organization. Think situations such as an employee with cancer who cannot return to work. People should know what to expect when that happens to them so a necessary decision to terminate that person doesn’t feel evil.
So, my question for you, Dan–do you have advice on helping compliance-minded people break that mindset? I have a whole division that essentially policy-whips their employees because they don’t want to have conversations, and overall we have a culture of “no” rather than a culture of “how might we…?”
Thanks rdkaye. Kapow!
My favorite line is the one about your passion about rules springs from your hate of rules.
Congratulations at the progress you are making and your insights are really helpful.
Reposting: So, my question for you, Dan–do you have advice on helping compliance-minded people break that mindset? I have a whole division that essentially policy-whips their employees because they don’t want to have conversations, and overall we have a culture of “no” rather than a culture of “how might we…?”
I hope this example may help. A previous leader once asked me “is this to make your job easier or theirs?”.
Changing the behaviour at a large focus to “servicing others”, or “customer focused” May help. Everyone must provide something to some one else at some point. there is always a customer and a supplier in every transaction. Work the policies adjustments after the behaviour change focusing on customer service. The policies will take on different end results and may have different outcome. For example how is this policy going to assist in accomplishing xyz with the customer component in mind.
Awesome comment Mike. Thanks for joining in.
An excellent thought-provoking post.
I partly agree on ‘Policies are the result of leadership distance’ since policies are needed to maintain transparency and fairness. Yes, excessive policies are harmful.
A leader has to be open and listen to the concerns of his followers. The human touch and ‘out of the way’ help by ‘exception’, breaking the laid down policies, can go a long way to win their loyalty.
Thanks Dr. Asher. The idea that a policy could maintain transparency makes it seem like a great policy.
I agree in a perfect world, but in the world of litigation that results from negligence, policies are important to prove the company communicated expectations to employees. If you don’t have a policy when the litigation begins, you’ll have one by the time it’s over.
Thanks Calvin. Glad you spoke in favor of policies. I’d love to do away with them, but it’s unrealistic.
Two simple thoughts:
“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world” – John Le Carre
“What we need is more Dis-Un-Empowerment, rather than more policies, procedures, rules and regulations.” (me)
We need to remove more of the things that get in the way of people making good workplace decisions, rather than “improve” things by adding lots and lots more clarification. How can we expect people to make decisions when it would be impossible for them to know all the details?
You cannot have a policy for everything. More governance will not make for a better world.
Thanks Dr. Scott. I think Marshall Goldsmith was the first author that I read who pointed out that success can often be achieved if we simply stop doing the things that block it. Powerful!
I’m not entirely on the same page with you on this one. As Calvin states above, in the current labour market and in a society where legislation and court decisions have encouraged a victim mentality, policies are not only necessary – they are protection.
In a unionized workplace if there is an infraction and the employer does not have a clear policy stating what is expected, there employer is unable to hold employees accountable for undesirable behaviours.
In the Canadian “social profit” sector where I work (I prefer the term “social profit” to non-profit), we regularly receive funding from government, and they expect us to have policies in place around screening employees, health and safety, insurance coverage, data storage, privacy, how we handle our finances, and so on. The implementation, use, and enforcement of policies in this context is not optional.
Where I come closer to your perspective is around the notions and methods we use to “do policy”. The staff affected and/or who will be required to carry out the policy should be involved in the formulation of the policy. We find this not only gives them ownership, but it helps us end up with a better product. Policies must be regularly reviewed – and we invite all staff to give input any time they find a policy is not working, is not applicable, or is causing a bottleneck.
If the crafting/drafting of a policy is the leadership’s only response to an issue – no dialogue, no interaction with staff, no “go and see” – then I’m with you – that approach to policies is not good, will not be well received, and will hot have good effect.
One other item to mention is that in many workplaces there is a lack of clarity around what I call “big P” policies, i.e. documents that articulate our position on an issue, and “small P” policies – documents that articulate how we do something. Examples:
Big P: Performance appraisals must be completed annually so our staff will be aware of their performance, areas of strength, and areas where improvement is required.
Small P: When processing donations receipts must be completed as follows ….
Have a great day.
Thanks Mark. It’s an honor to have someone who is so articulate disagree. Nicely done.
Policies imposed by governmental or other oversight-agencies can’t be avoided. Plus, unionized environments often require added policies along with corresponding paperwork.
I found several of the distinctions you offer to be very helpful.
I’m pretty sure most of us will agree with rdkaye. Work to keep policies to a minimum.
Policies go wrong when they only apply to those who are doing all the work. I’ve seen the disconnect with leaders who think they are above the policies. This creates tensions within those who are trying to act within the policies especially when there is a direct conflict of interest with those acting above the policies (been there). Some leaders are faced with trying to honour policies and special exceptions of elite leaders that are in direct conflict with one another. Your moral integrity is truly put to the test when trying to escalate these conflicts of interest to a higher authority/manager/supervisor whom always capitulates to what is politically favourable to themselves (saving their arse). Follow the policy … get burned by the elite leaders (for the right reasons) … don’t follow the policy to help the politically elite (get burned for by lowering your values, morals and respect by those following the policies). This is the proverbial “Rock in the hard place”. When a policy is made, make sure it is logical, provides efficiency within the company AND IT APPLIES TO EVERYONE!
Thanks mlapointedrd. Your frustration is one that I share. The exceptions that are made because of convenience and political reason only underscore the importance of keeping policies at a minimum so they can be enforced consistently. Cheers
I’ve been a part of organizations with many policies and some with fewer. The more employees there are the more possible situations there are to cover. However, my personal inclination is to be broad when possible, rather like writing by-laws. The more minute the detail in a legal document the more people are inclined to find the loophole, whereas when a policy is broad in scope with a defined purpose that is clear it can inspire aspirational behavior, rather than “don’t do x, y, z, f, g h,”.
Thanks Edie. One shift in thinking regarding policies is making them aspirational. We can’t eliminate prohibitions but we can include aspirations.
Ideally, policies are an expression of the mission; if you can’t explain the connection between the two, then the policy is unnecessary or wrong.
I am not a fan of exceptions. I’d rather question and improve the policy than make an exception. In my experience, most exceptions are either kowtowing that shouldn’t happen OR are a sign of an insufficiently thought through policy.
Thanks rabbiadar. Great connection! There is a sense of grouding and direction when policies are tied to mission. In that sense they enhance and protect.
The true sign of successful leadership is “what happens when you’re not there.”
Policies are simply formal expressions of expectations of what important things should or shouldn’t happen when you’re not there.
The issue is not really about policies … to be or not to be ….. the issue is really about nailing the distinction/ definition of “important things” from “unimportant things.”
Systemize the routine, Humanize the exception.
Thanks mwayland. Love your inclusion of defining what is important. Plus, your last sentence is killer.
Hello. Like the ideas and discussion, but one point caught my attention that is more of a political statement, but …
Under policies there was this statement:
3. Answer reporting needs in highly regulated industries.
I have to wonder if education is a regulated industries. I know that going through the audit requirements certainly makes it seem that way.
Am I wrong thinking like this?
Thanks Norbert. Organizations that receive public funds are regulated to one degree or another. Wouldn’t you think?
Yes, education is probably the most regulated industry. We have the combination of stewarding taxpayer funds AND stewarding other people’s children. 🙂
Policies are good as long as it does not stifle the growth of the organisation, it is generally seen that the policies are made to control the pattern of the human behavior, it is also observed that when the top leaders find that they are unable to control the human behavior, they generally force it by imposing the policy in line, which in the longer term create the dissatisfaction among the creative and performers at the same time it encourages the sycophants and non performers to come close to the policy makers, it is also observed that those who are left at freedom to work , they are more productive and creative. this is why the create and high performing company around the world encouraging the various method so as to improve the employees productivity. policies are generally a forced activity and whereas it should be lined with the self discipline and that must be encouraged and promoted in the organisation. In the disguise of policy it is also seen that there is an attempt to control and stifle the growth of the people those are knowledge, creative and qualified. Instead the policies should be an attempt with the right and high spirit for the growth of individual as well organisation.
Great comment. It seems that management interpret policies in the favor. They interpret in such a way that can benefit them in all the way. It also comes out that somewhere management is fearful about being exposed or overtaken by some competent people.So, they do everything in the name of policy to canopy them.
Sreedevi, you address a very valid point. Organizations that are not committed to applying the proper effort in developing policy or procedure in a manner that support organizational goals are wasting their time. Furthermore, when your people have no idea what the policies say or even how they apply, the policy is useless. Additionally, the mindset developed under these conditions regarding policy is that no one really cares and that if one is useless, most must be.
Thanks Rajesh, You have articulated the downside of policies. They can sap energy and creativity. It takes a special talent to write policies that energize people.
Here is an energizing policy:
Our employees are authorized to implement new ideas that align with organizational mission without permission of upper management – and do not impact more than one other division of the organization. (attach a reasonable dollar figure to the policy)
Great post and comments here! My peeve is with the loosely worded policy, without a clear purpose behind it. I’ve worked in one company where anyone could look at the employee handbook and know exactly what it meant, no ambiguity. In another company few of us even knew where the policies were to be found, let alone what they meant. To me, policies must have a purpose, be transparent, and simple. No complications of “If x, then y applies; but if z, then c+d applies”- what do you do when most situations are a & b which aren’t even addressed by the policy?
Rajiv, “real leaders” are always approachable. Those that are not…..are not real leaders.
Thanks Sreedevi. Complicated policies miss the purpose. If they aren’t easy to understand and implement, they won’t work.
Excellent post. This is necessary. For this, leaders must get off their high horse, and be actually approachable. There is too much suspicion about motives between “leaders” and “followers”
Thanks Rajiv. Distrust hampers productivity and enjoyment. Who likes to work with people that they don’t trust? So, policies are also written in suspicious environments!
For the first time, I have to totally disagree with your posting. Policies and procedures serve a very vital role in every organization. In fact, in many instances, people’s lives depend on following them to the letter EVERY time. In a complacent world where we take things for granted and assume that we know the process simply because we have done it a million-times, bad things happen. Policies and procedures are not for the “mindless” as presented but rather an attempt to ensure that certain things are done the exact same way each and every time by anyone performing the actions.
I would contend that there is a bit of confusion in the way policy and procedure are being related to leadership and management practices. For example, having policy and procedure in place that serves no purpose is detrimental. Having policy and procedure in place that does not apply to everyone is detrimental. Having policy and procedure in place that does not change as applicable is detrimental. If you have good leadership in place, they are vigilantly connected to their people and processes and are always on the lookout for needed changes to keep their organization in top condition.
The problem lies in poor management where a mindset of “we have always done it this way” or “simply go through the motions” exists. The minute your organization uses policy and procedure as a “check-box activity”, you are in trouble. These examples are what give policy and procedure a bad rap. True leaders know the difference and attempt to make the appropriate correction and it will depend on the mentality of management to allow for the correct changes to take place.
I don’t think you are disagreeing with Dan. People manage people. Policies do not manage people.
rdkaye, There is a specific element that leadership and management play with regard to policy and procedure. In a well-run organization, they compliment each other while achieving organizational goals. Furthermore, any good leader supports organizational policy and procedure. Having that stated, I must assert that leaders develop people while they perform their duties in accordance with policy and procedure being monitored by managers.
Thanks bhedden. I’m glad you chimed in. I can think of many environments where policies are essential. Think of the medical or aeronautical industries as an example.
Where I think we might agree is in the dangers of using policies in ways that hinder rather than help organizations.
I’m glad you took time to disagree. At least one of us is thinking. 😉
Thanks Dan, Yes, you have picked-up on the train of thought. There are many organizations out there that paint with a wide brush out of sheer laziness or lack of ability and just throw policies at problems or issues. In this sense, I am in agreement with you 100%. Thank you for the reply 🙂
I have joined in receiving your blog link, Dan, and find the short tips very helpful. Leadership is tough, and inspiration is not always readily available. Whether or not I agree with everything, it gets me thinking and reflecting. Thanks for this.
Thanks Donna. Its a pleasure to be of service. Best for the journey.
Dan, you hit this topic square in the forehead. Every church I have worked at, until recently, has had enough policies to fill more than one 3 inch 3-ring binder. And I totally agree that policies are, more than anything, a list of restrictions. They are negative by nature because of the lack of leadership. After more than 4 years at our current church (and preparing to campus pastor at our first satellite location) I’ve learned something. Issues that most churches would consider addressing via a policy are much better off openly dealt with in verbal conversation AND by creating a culture in the entire church which makes these kinds of conversations not only expected, but a normal way of life. We have 1,000 regular weekly attenders and all of our policies easily fit in one 1-inch binder. Thanks for the helpful post, Dan.
Thanks Brent. congratulations on growing a church and doing it without tons of policies. I think church folk my be a major violator of hiding behind policies. I love the idea of making conversations expected and normal. Make policies as a last resort. Best wishes.
As an elementary school principal for almost 30 years, I always had two rules/policies to guide our students’ behaviour. Rather than the customary long list of “thou shalt nots” students were reminded to “be nice” and “don’t spoil anyone else’s fun”. They all understood these statements which formed the basis for disciplinary discussions. In reality, these discussions were minimal. Through these guidelines, we developed a culture of mutual respect and shared responsibility throughout our school and out into our community.
Thanks Carol. Bingo! Simplicity creates clarity and clarity is actionable. Even though “nice” might have an ethereal side. We all know what nice feels like.
Sometimes our attempts at answering all the contingencies creates so much complexity that we lose sight of the goal.
Appreciate your post.
I heard a similar, very helpful, two-rule policy from a school in the USA that really turned around with new leadership:
1. Take care of each other
2. Take care of this place
Sums it up pretty well I think.
Summing up basic beliefs and values into succinct, understandable words is particularly valuable in schools/ environments where multiple languages are spoken. My school had students from 54 countries speaking 25 languages. 60% did not speak English when they arrived. Being a leader of a few words is necessary. I like your two-rule policy as well. Thanks.
As a new manager and actively in the process of updating the Employee Policy Handbook, I nearly made the mistake of adding policy to address exceptions. However, I had a underlying unease about that approach and have been procrastinating issuing the revised polices (as of writing this they remain unpublished). As a small company it would be clear who the amended polices were addressing. People I spoke with about this said I should not be overly concerned about individual reactions to these changes but I still was reluctant to implement them.
This article put into words some of the reasons for my unease. Changing policy to address exceptions may ultimately be counterproductive and erode employe morale. Better to foster open communication to address exceptions rather than hard and fast rules.
So thanks for the timely article!
Thanks Eric. It’s a pleasure to be of service. Policies should make their job easier, even if it means my job gets harder. Create freedom for others by establishing clear guidlines on things that matter. But, policy by exception slows productivity and oppresses the spirit, even if conversations are more difficult.
My partner and I work with governing boards – and primarily school boards – organizations inundated with state, federal and local policies. Our governing policy templates number around 30. We have written two books, Good Governance is a Choice and Boards That Matter – on the system of Coherent Governance®. The fewer policies the better – clear standards and values for board self governance, relationship with the CEO defining authority and accountability, for standards for operational areas and focused outcomes/Results for the people the organization serves. It frees the organization for great creativity to achieve Results, but holds the CEO and employees accountable for Results. Check it out!
Thanks Linda. It’s great to see that others have worked these ideas out for the good of the leadership community. Cheers and best wishes.
Too many policies are a sign of poor leader based culture. When the right culture grows throughout an organization, habits limit the production of new policies. pretty soon there will be policies to police the policies. It’s amazing how the policy library grows more than the organization’s productivity; as a matter of a fact there is an adverse effect on production.
Great job on this, Dan.
I have to laugh, just a little since I can almost hear some highly “responsive leaders” acting on your wisdom poorly: “We’re going to fix this once and for; starting today we will have a policy against policies.”
Thanks pdncoach. Brilliant! 🙂 It’s one thing to have an idea. It’s another to implement it effectively.