This morning I was in a meeting discussing a proposed policy change. What the policy is and who was involved isn’t important. We were going ’round and ’round about the processes affected by and driving this policy. It was basically process analysis. Never one to take a mandate without question if I have one, I was asking a lot of questions. I finally cut to the heart of the matter and asked, "why can’t the <thingies> have <doodads> on them?"
I was greeted with what I perceived to be a semi-aghast, frustrated shrug at the very notion that such a thing could be possible, which was given audible form by the accompanying statement, "This is the system as it was given to me. We’ve always done it this way."
I stood up, put both hands on the table, leaned toward the person who made that statement, and firmly but assuringly said, "We. Can. Make. It. BETTER!"
I sat back down. There was a look of surprise on the face to the person whom I had addressed. And why not? We work for the State. We are entrenched in Bureaucracy. We have been beaten into submission by a monster of red tape, made to believe that things are too complicated to be changed or that they are the way they are if for no other reason than because they have always been that way. Why should we have any hope that things could be any way but what they are?
I call this "process paralysis" and it’s ridiculous. "Policy" isn’t carved in stone somewhere, immutable for all ages, never to be altered. It can be changed. And when it makes sense to do so, we should. We CAN make it better!