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Challenging Policies

Seth Godin posts about the danger of restrictive policies--specifically, how some policies leave customers no other choice but to stop being your customers.

Here's the significance of Godin's observations to leaders. People with authoritative titles--or their minions--customarily drive change downward. But bureaucrats nestled in their corner offices are less in touch with technology, customer wishes, or workforce capabilities than employees who are working on the front lines. For a company to remain competitive, new ideas must originate from all levels of the corporate hierarchy, but driving change from below is often a high-risk, low-reward game. Rising up to promote change might earn you an ill-favored reputation as a rebel. Policy makers--especially those entrenched at the top of a bureaucracy--are probably the people who established the very practices you are trying to change. Having the audacity to suggest improving or abandoning long-standing procedures is politically dangerous, and, quite often, when suggestions are well-received, the bureaucrats take credit for those ideas, anyway.

So is it really worth the risk? Yes, if the changes you advocate are equally important to the values of your employees and your organization. Those common values provide workers with the meaning and connection they need in their jobs. Pushing for changes that uphold your organization's values demonstrates your leadership Categories:
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I agree completely and you raise a great point. This is why the environment to support this must start at the top. It's about leaders asking questions of their organization and being comfortable that the answers may, and often will, contradict the very policies they put in place. Without that, it's just another neat idea.

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