Roy's Blog

February 13, 2012

Dumb rules: barriers to distinction and unforgettability


An article in our Vancouver Sun newspaper reported that “UBC’s Sauder School of Business encourages the questioning of routines that aren’t in the best interest of a company”.

The Article, based on a recent book, Hacking Work, by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, was titled: “School wants students to break dumb rules for smart results” and was all about encouraging students to eliminate the “Corporate Rules” got in the way of job efficiency and effectiveness.

The message: eliminate the dumb rules in your organization that prevent you from doing your job in the most productive way possible. Full stop.

This is another approach, recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 10 “breakthrough ideas” for 2010, that simply does not go far enough. It is focused internally. The benefits realized are improved productivity, lower costs and happier employees. Nothing wrong with this… BUT

What about your customer? Your Fan? The person who is responsible for your existence?

I have written extensively about the need to cleanse the internal customer service organizational environment of Dumb Rules and Stupid Things that didn’t make any sense to your customers. Look for a Rule, Policy or Procedure that gets in the way of Dazzling your Fans. Remove an obstacle to your Frontline that prevents THEM from serving and delighting them.

The internal cleansing priority MUST be your Fans. I’m not saying that killing rules that drive work dysfunction is not important. It is. But with limited resources and time available to any organization, we must do the REALLY important things first. What is more important that removing the stuff that annoys your Fans and forces them to go elsewhere? Exactly….

I suspect that you will achieve both goals by a Fan focus. Destroying those little-BIG bureaucratic procedures that drive your customers crazy will also improve job productivity and employee satisfaction.

Form a Dumb Rules Committee in your organization and empower people to seek out this dysfunctional stuff. And ACT on what they discover. If you do nothing with their findings your credibility and believability goes down to zero and your next attempt at engaging your employees will be met with (earned) skepticism and reluctance.

You will be surprised with the energy and passion that is released through this simple Dumb Rules exercise and the employee commitment and loyalty that is built. People will have FUN and spread the word that you really intend to be customer-obsessed. Actions scream out your intent. Do it.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…
Go small or go home
It’s about time we had Customer of the month Awards
Do lots of imperfect stuff FAST





  • Posted 2.13.12 at 11:57 am by Roy Osing
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