Andy on Twitter

  • Embarrassed to be an American. Thrilled to be a Kiwi. It's not complete but a start. ,
  • Peeps, looking for a great agency/freelancer in Sydney with deep skills - build campaigns, edms etc in Pardot. Help!,
  • Disagree with this... myopic digital thinking. Miss by Kraft was underinvesting in brand and in some markets sellin… ,
  • Epic morning ,
  • Stunning Queenstown ,
  • Never gets old this view. Always changing with the light and seasons. ,
  • This is a maddening feature of Spotify and one of those moments of dissatisfaction that drives switching. Postal A… ,
  • A really good read... To often I see the value of data as a defensable advantage overstated... The Empty Promise of… ,
  • Brilliant... Choir! Choir! Choir! Epic! Nights: David Byrne + NYC sing HEROES via @YouTube,
  • Good move ... Westpac turns on AI chatbot ,
  • Paul is doing a great job of unpacking marketing trends and news. Worth a read if you are a marketer ,
  • Great read. Underscores how innovation happens in fast moving innovators is so radically different that incumbents.… ,
  • When landing in LAX and getting to terminal takes the equivalent of 70% of the flying time to LAX. Really… ,
  • The quality of questions matters... Good read... ,
  • Clearly courts have no concept of brand distinctiveness. Big win for Bega, huge loss for anyone managing a brand ,
  • Loved

Small Business Must Smash Bureaucracy Before It Takes Hold

One of the many great things about working in a innovative, high-growth company is the lack of bureaucracy.

I’m not talking about the paperwork and paper pushing kind. I’m talking about what Gary Hamel rightly defines as:

“Strategy gets set at the top. Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Managers assess performance. Rules tightly circumscribe discretion.

Bureaucracy “constitutes the operating system for virtually every large-scale organisation on the planet. It is the unchallenged tenets of bureaucracy that disable our organisations.”

It frankly doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean we don’t have processes and some of the checks and balances a good company should have. What it does mean is that deep in the culture is the capacity for making, creating and doing.

Its a deeper cultural and attitudinal bent that enables a company like Xero, Vend or Simple compete successfully with large incumbents. It is nearly impossible to replicate and highly perishable. I’ve seen it ferment in large organisations only to be quashed by incoming leaders, not by direct mandate but through subtle cultural cues.

The cultural contrasts between a company where bureaucracy is minimal and one where it is maximised are clear if you have every lived and worked in both. Little things stand out. The first values individualism and the quality of work. The second values conformity and standardisation of work. The first values ideas and impact. The second values marginal and non disruptive improvement.

Companies that are creating immense value and game-changing new platforms are those who have effectively sidelined bureaucracy in favour of a new way of working.

So, how will you smash bureaucracy in 2015 and turn it to a competitive advantage?

Read:

Why Bureaucracy Must Die – Forbes

Bureaucracy Must Die – Gary Hamel, HBR

The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation – Gary Hamel, HBR

The Drucker Forum Reading List – HBR

Speak Up — Add Your Thoughts

Connections

  • Loved
How did you connect?   [?]