Friday, September 29, 2006

More Reasons Rules Suck

Following the earlier post, Why I Hate Rules...

Rules replace thinking. I worked for a company that did not allow us to receive gifts. This was to avoid bribery. We had delegates visit from Finland and my first act was to insult them by refusing their gift. Oh, how I wish I had thought rather than supinely following a rule.

By definition, rules make exceptions unacceptable. Exceptions to the rule need to be authorised. Therefore, handling any anything other than the mundane becomes a pain in the arse. Rules work best for unthinking dead-beats doing boring things.

5. Rules promote dolts. Any organisation with an unholy excitement for rules will feel threatened by the maverick, the original thinker, the innovator. Those with flare get sidelined because they cannot thrive when hampered by insidious regulation.

On the other hand, those boring plodders who thrive on mediocracy enjoy the safeness of always doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. Keep your head down, follow the rules, and you'll do well, my son.

In a highly regulated environment, a lack of imagination is an asset.

6. Rules imply that the rule-maker knows better than you. Now sometimes, that is quite right. If I'm touring a nuclear power plant and someone has posted the rule - don't stick your hand between the rods... ok.

But often rules are made by busy-bodies who imagine that their infallible little opinions are above question by the unwashed masses. This is especially galling with rules about what you can and can't say.

I hold the unfashionable view that those in authority are there to serve, not to lord over the rest of us. They have a responsibility to ensure our freedom, not to manage how we use it.

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