Ducks in a Row: Bureaucracy and Culture

Ducks in a Row: Bureaucracy and Culture

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess you following events at the BBC?

If not you should be, especially if you ever doubted the power of culture and the destructive force of bureaucracy.

Ben Bradshaw, a former BBC correspondent and now a Labour member of Parliament, said the 2004 scandal, touched off by reporting about British intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, had created a system based on “fear and anxiety.” The BBC, he added, became “even more bureaucratic and had even more layers, which exacerbated the problem of buck passing and no one being able to take a decision.”

Of my many posts that delve into bureaucracy, I think the most important is Process vs. Bureaucracy—two things that are frequently confused.

As I say in that post, bureaucracy is “process calcified, convoluted, politically corrupted, or just plain unnecessary.”

All of which occurred at the BBC.

Or, as Tim Luckhurst, a journalism professor at the University of Kent who worked at the BBC for 10 years,

“They wanted systems that could take responsibility instead of people.”

But there are no systems, software or bureaucracy at any level that can take the place people skilled in handling wetware.

Nor is there any business, from Fortune 50 to micropreneur, or organization that can function without it.

So whether you manage yourself or a cast of thousands you need to embrace process and jettison bureaucracy.

Flickr image credit: Kitty Schweizer

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