The surest sign that innovation is getting poo-pooed in an organization is when you see piles of BUREAUCRAP all over the office. It gunks up the works, it makes people hate their environment, and it STINKS!
What is Bureaucrap?
- Friction-causing, energy-sapping excrement from people who like to poo-poo other people’s ideas and who put artificial and nonsensical barriers in place that undermine productivity and innovation.
- A sticky substance that prevents real people from doing good work.
- A residue from incompetent people trying to justify their existence.
Bureaucrap is often commensurate in scope to, or exponentially larger than the size of an organization, and poses as “protective measures” to prevent bad stuff from happening. What really happens is that it prevents good stuff from happening while allowing incompetence and polyticks (lots of blood-sucking parasites) to exist in the organization.
How to Remove Bureaucrap
You may need a Tychem® BR Level B Fully Encapsulating Suit, like the one shown above, for excessive amounts of bureaucrap.
Caution: Bureaucrap is difficult to remove. You must follow these directions carefully:
- Clear the air.
- Explain that you believe bureaucrap to exist and that you want it removed.
- Identify the bureaucrap.
- Look for inefficiency.
- Look for disengaged employees.
- Look for poor performance and productivity.
- Look for lots of paper or extensive approval systems.
- Look for people who have risen to their level of incompetence (Peter Principle)
- Enlist help from your employees to root it out.
- Describe what bureaucrap is and how to find it.
- Offer rewards for the biggest pile of bureaucrap discovered. This can be fun or serious.
- Address it head-on. No mamby-pamby solutions will work.
- Create an award for bureaucrap.
- Speak to those in charge of creating, promoting, or maintaining bureaucrap.
- Give them a timeframe to remove the bureaucrap.
- If they fail to remove the bureaucrap in time, give them a bureaucrap award and force them to hang it proudly in their space.
- Give them one more deadline to remove the bureaucrap and post it on the award. Everyone will be watching.
- If they continue to sit in it, escort them outside, where they won’t be offensive to others. Leave them there.
- Continue to look for bureaucrap at regular intervals.
- Bureaucrap can creep in – even from well-meaning people.
- A review of policies and procedures can help weed out the bureaucrap. Lawyers may not like it, but who runs the company?
- Deal with it before it starts to stink.
Getting Professional Help to Remove Bureaucrap
You can also call a professional to assist in the removal. Big Think Innovation, for example, has a Bureaucrap Control Division (BTI’s BCD) that can help.
P.S. The above content is certainly tongue-in-cheek in some ways, but totally serious in others. Take what you think will work, be careful about shaming people unless your culture is one where people can do it in fun, and be sure that you don’t cut out anything that will harm your company. Some structure is still needed, and attorneys do have a part to play. Just make it a bit part….