Roy's Blog

February 13, 2012

Kill dumb rules customers not employees really hate

A local business school published an article recently based on the book Hacking Work, by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein. The article was titled: “School wants students to break dumb rules for smart results” and it encouraged students to eliminate the “Corporate Rules” that 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.

Stupid rules

This approach, recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 10 “breakthrough ideas” for 2010, 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…

Where is the customer in the discussion?

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 delighting your customers. Remove an obstacle that prevents THEM from providing WOW! service.

The internal cleansing priority MUST be the customer not increasing productivity. 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 customers and forces them to go elsewhere?

I suspect that you will achieve both goals by eliminating dumb rules with a customer 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.


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  • Posted 2.13.12 at 11:57 am by Roy Osing
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