Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Rules and regulations

I went to the friends of the library sale here in Grand Marais last Friday. I like going to look; I rarely buy much anymore—especially now, with very limited space! But, I did find a book on business that I have been meaning to read for a few years now: Good to Great.

The book is over ten years old and some of the companies highlighted are in serious trouble, but the concepts he talks about are timeless. In fact, the reason those companies are in trouble is because the strayed from the things that made them great.

Anyway, thought I would share this little tidbit with you:

“Most companies build their bureaucratic rules to manage the small percentage of wrong people on the bus, which in turn drives away the right people on the bus, which then increases the percentage of wrong people on the bus, which increases the need for more bureaucracy to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline, which then further drives the right people away, and so forth.”—Good to Great, page 121
<idle musing>
Yep. I've seen it many times over the years and in several companies. It's endemic to our fear of letting misfits go; we try to manage them or at least minimize their negative impact. The result is we lose or at least dishearten the rest of our people.

I've done it myself. I feel sorry for a person or think I can transform them, so I don't let them go. The end result is almost always misery for them, me, and their co-workers. There's a HarperCollins book (now available from Zondervan, too) about that very thing. It's called Necessary Endings. I think I might have excerpted from it in the past. If not, I will be in the future :)
</idle musing>

1 comment:

That's my 2 cents! said...

I've spent most of my work life in retail. We tend to throw bodies at problems in retail. We don't have the highest standards, and most people who apply with us don't have the highest standards for themselves either. What I see a lot are companies which have their HR departments run or controlled by lawyers. We can't fire the bad people, so we have little choice but to live with them. I love working with people, and I love my customers, but being forced to work with people who want to to the least they can to get by is sad.

I want to do a good job. Not long before I left Louisville, mom said, "Lonnie I think maybe you are too conscientious." Believe it or not, I run into a lot of people who think the same thing. I don't know, I simply want to do the best I can. Every day I pray, "Lord I know I am inadequate...You are my adequacy, enable me to do work which pleases you." I'm saddened and frustrated by people who want to do the least they can to get by.