The Bureaucracy Abides



Jonathan Fields writing in Psychology Today has taken up the mantra “Everyone wants better but no one wants change.” He states that – in a bureaucracy – everyone wants to own the outcome, but nobody wants to own the process.


I respectfully disagree. I believe that it’s the exact opposite. 

Bureaucracy fears outcome. Bureaucracy loves process.

In a bureaucracy following the process is more important than the outcome – any outcome. The dogmatic manager says, “I created the process, therefore the process is good. You must follow it.” 

I believe that bureaucracies fear outcome because having an outcome means that the process can be judged a success or a failure.

If the process fails a bureaucracy is ill equipped to change the process – too much effort and too much ego involved.

If it succeeds the process is deemed sacrosanct and can’t be changed.

Either way.

The bureaucracy abides.

– m

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