A rift on rules and policies


“A rule is meant to be broken.”

Rules are a creation of man.  Every rule you see come across was invented by someone somewhere along the way.

Sure – many of the rules that have been established over the course of our shared human history have helped sustain the human civilization for hundreds of thousands of years.

These rules can give us a guide to the prevailing views of a certain time.  And they can lay a framework for large scale operations.

And yet, too often, we treat rules as indefinite.  We treat rules as unchanging and untouchable.

But as someone in charge of setting rules for an organization, it’s all bullshit.  We are all making this up as we go.  A rule or regulation is a guide to how to not screw something up again.

And as I evaluate layering new additional policies, I always hit a stumbling block.

These rules and policies we are creating are for the minority.  They are created for the 5%-10% of people that screw the shit up for the rest of us.

I recently caught myself creating a policy that applied to 100 employees, and yet, after closer evaluation really was only relevant to one employee.  All the others had absolutely no problem keeping up with the task.

We created a policy for one outlier.

And that doesn’t seem fair nor like the right way to handle it.

What if, instead we created laws and rules for the majority?

Rather than creating a new policy, why not just punish or get rid of the employee we are creating the policy for in the first place?

Before instituting that new policy at work, make sure you are clear about your intentions and what you hope to accomplish.  And make sure the policy you are creating doesn’t apply to a small minority.

Unfortunately it’s not the rule breakers that suffer the consequences, it’s the rest of us that end of shouldering the burden.

We get pushed and pushed to create more policies and burden our employees with more responsibility.

I argue though that the more we treat our employees like humans and less like a number, the more we realize we really don’t need all those rules and policies in the first place.






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