Rules, rules and more rules
I don’t mean
to get political, but it seems to me we make too many rules, have too many
regulations, and too much unnecessary red tape – almost everywhere. Let me give you some recent examples that
have nothing to do with politics per se.
· I sit on a board of 7 members. Our leadership insists the secretary take an
oral role call at meetings. She can see
us and we can see each other. When I
suggested it was not necessary in so small a group, I was shot down. We also need to formally vote on unimportant
items instead of just having a consensus.
· One of the organizations I belong to
is holding its annual auction fundraiser. There are so many rules all starting
with “this is the way we do it because this is the way we have always done
it”. We are a group of about 35 people. We all know each other. Yet, there is a rule that items cannot be
counted in the tally until they are in the hands of the assigned committee
member. This means that when you say you
have something in your hand and will bring it to the next meeting, you are told
it will not go into the tally because it’s not physically there yet. When I asked about trust, I was told that
sometime in the distant past, someone said they had something, but didn’t. So we are all distrusted – a rule is made
because of one irresponsible person.
streamline systems for my larger clients (big companies – government agencies)
I often find that a rule has been made – which often winds up costing more than
it is attempting to save – because once someone fraudulently took advantage of
their position and stole something, or spent something they shouldn’t have
spent. In other words, make a whole
procedure costing lots of money to prevent the loss of some pennies.
Watching “Blue Bloods” on TV Friday night reminded
me of all the “zero tolerance” rules in schools. Do you remember:
- · A kindergarten boy was suspended
because he kissed a little girl on the cheek – this was considered sexual
harassment (yes, I don’t make these things up!)
- · A young boy was suspended – or
expelled (I don’t remember which) because he accidently took his mother’s lunch
bag instead of his own and she had an apple and paring knife in her bag. The fact that the mother immediately
recognized the accident and called the school to tell them the details didn’t
change their decision. Off with his head (said the Witch in Alice
become so intolerant we can’t handle accidents?
“Oops, it was an accident, sorry – won’t do it again.” If said genuinely, why isn’t that enough?
Freedom is not worth
having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings,
be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human
beings of that precious right.
become so fearful of the crooks that we spend thousands of dollars and
countless unnecessary time plugging up the imaginary holes? OK – I am not suggesting we throw caution to
the winds. I am perfectly content with
all those cameras – they found the bombers, didn’t they?
streamlining systems for my clients – I work with them – not at them – and
together we find ways to make things far more effective and efficient without
losing any safety or security.
Oftentimes the K.I.S.S. method works best.
Labels: freedom, regulations, rules