When it comes to non value add activities in business, policy creation takes top spot. Trouble starts the moment your organization slips into control by policy. The breakdown of trust is underway.
Early in my career I rocked it as a master policy writer. I took great pride in my superb ability to foresee every exception and close every loophole.
I’ve since learned from my mistakes. I now see policies for what they often are—an attempt by one person to control another.
I recently connected with one of the most progressive CEOs in my network. He shared his view on the topic. “Policies are put in place to manage the 1% at the detriment of the 99%.”
Why would we do that? Why go to so much effort to punish the 99%? The answer is simple but perhaps not obvious.
The love affair with policies
At the core of policy development is predictability and structure. They create restrictions and limitations. For those of us with perfectionistic tendencies, control is like a comfortable blanket. It keeps us safe.
That explains why some people love policies. But what about the non-perfectionists who aren’t drawn to structure? Why doesn’t this group rebel and topple the policy fortress before it’s too big?
It turns out that the heart of the issue is fear. We are afraid of having difficult, important conversations with each other. Policies, even terrible ones, provide us with a safety net. When a problem requires a difficult conversation, we have control on our side. More