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Thursday, October 19, 2020

A Regulatory Tipping Point?

Here's an intereresting thought, courtesy of Management Issues. Today, they published a political article called Britain at a regulatory tipping point. Here's a sample:
Britain's sense of adventure, enterprise and competitive edge is being fatally undermined by a growing army of bureaucrats and politicians terrified of risk and determined to regulate for every eventuality.

This damaging indictment of Britain's political culture is the key message of a new report from the government's own Better Regulation Commission (BRC), a body established in 2005 to provide independent advice to government about the impact of regulatory proposals and about the government's overall regulatory performance.

'Risk, Responsibility, Regulation: Whose Risk Is It Anyway?' argues that regulatory overkill and intrusive government intervention is in danger of taking the place of personal responsibility and that the national attitude to risk is becoming defensive and disproportionate.
Replace the word "Britain" with the name of just about any major corporation you can think of and ask yourself whether this isn't just a true of them. Too many corporations are "being fatally undermined by a growing army of bureaucrats . . . terrified of risk and determined to regulate for every eventuality."

Risk is something none of us can avoid. Life is risky. Only the dead are pretty much free from all risks. Politicians, and business leaders, seem to be addicted to bringing out ever more rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, and standardized practices. Ethics are being replaced by compliance. Commonsense has long departed from many boardrooms.

It seems that even business leaders are terrified to think and accept responsibility for their decisions (which is what their big salaries are supposed to compensate for). Instead, they turn to mechanistic ways to limit their liability and avoid having to admit to mistakes.

Instead of cluttering up the workplace with such garbage, why not try trusting subordinates to do their jobs, and give them the space, time, and support to make it happen?
Nothing slows business down more than a mass of needless rules, but it's not the kind of slow leadership we advocate here. Instead of cluttering up the workplace with such garbage, why not try trusting subordinates to do their jobs, and give them the space, time, and support to make it happen? If more corporations tried that approach, I believe they would discover they have plenty of time to get everything done without all the stress and long hours. All they need to do is to free themselves from pointless reporting, useless meetings, the collection of meaningless statistics, the preparing of endless PowerPoint presentations and justifications for any and every action . . . and all the other common means of covering those delicate executive butts.


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