Innovation blocked in organisations where the rule-bound rule.

2 Mar

Matthew Taylor’s blog is usually timely and philosophical. This week he gave a speech to NCVO and noted that so many small voluntary groups fail because one people is disruptive and takes up all the time and others drift off. I have observed this happening so often not least in political meetings, Matthew also suggested that it is the who people who are obsessed with rules and process tend to end up with more influence and power than those focussed on making change happen in the world.
Ten years ago I observed that women were not being promoted as that they were much less obsessed with rules and processes and wanted to make things happen, yet, this energy rather than be valued, was career limiting, In many public organisations this insularity has disappeared, but this is not so in higher education or in central government, where an obsession with process and procedures persists and is the basis of promotion.

Reaching out and talking to the public, customers and partner is the basis of better services and more imaginative services and a more open and democratic society. Those who cling on to conventions and processes at the expense of more open and flexible practice are usually also clinging on to power.

If your interested in the evidence of how the rule-bound rule read ‘
Faith in Systems or in people? Change strategies in the public sector I J Leadership (2006) or Making Modernisation Work: New Narratives, Change Strategies & People Management in the J of Public Sector Management 2002 15:1 by S Maddock.

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