CHAPTER 11: In Bureaucracies

January 2003
Fell's Official Know-It-All Guide: Let's Get Results, Not Excuse;2003, p119
Book Chapter
The article presents information on how excuses manifest themselves in bureaucracies. Most corporations are, by definition, bureaucratic in nature, and provide a fertile environment in which excuses can multiply. The larger the organization becomes, the more it tends to accumulate secondary responsibilities to the point that it is unable to focus on its primary responsibilities and purposes. This is because the people who need to be "in the know" often become the ones who are the most removed. Such is the nature of any bureaucracy. Bureaucracies breed excuse-making cultures. As a general rule, people will make excuses in order to survive at the top levels of a bureaucracy. And where there are excuses at the top there is going to be an abundance of excuses throughout the rest of the organization. The bad news is that unless there is some strategic intervention, bureaucracies will continue to travel down their self-destructive paths. The point is that recognizing that excuses are indeed a problem is the first half of the battle. Once that is accomplished, the remedy is not all that far away.


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