November 9, 2018

What does the law, policy, rule, directive, etc really say?

When we are engaged in a process improvement effort it is not uncommon for someone to say, “The policy says we can’t do that.” Since this person has been with the organization a long time, we accept that pronouncement. However, I have found in about 50% of the cases, the interpretation of of the law, policy, rule, etc is wrong. In fact it can be radically incorrect.

I tell the folks on the team I am from Missouri. The Missouri state slogan is “Show me.” So when a policy, rule, or law is mentioned, I say “show me.” What I find is often surprising. I think there is a tendency in organizations to gradually drift to being more conservative. Consequently, the organization becomes more and more handcuffed.

Statements around policy, laws, directives, and rules often don’t challenged. But they should be challenged. You might be amazed by what you find. I know I  have.