Does Your Company Need A Dumb Rules Manager?


Employee A: Can you make five copies of this for the people in the conference room? (copier is three feet behind reception desk).

Employee B: I’ll have to call to get permission.

Employee A: I understand but it’s for the clients and they are waiting for me.

Employee B: We are not allowed to copy anything unless its cleared by (insert name).

Employee A: (Clearly frustrated) That’s okay.  I’ll take care of it.  (runs away to nearest copy machine)

True conversation I overheard in an office recently.  Clients, who make it possible for you to buy a copy machine, are left waiting because employees are not allowed to make copies.  I know all about copyrights and permission but I doubt this one-page chart was the secret to Coca-Cola.   I didn’t think much of it until I read this article from Ryan Holmes, the CEO of  The article explains how Hootsuite created a “Czar of Bad Systems” to review and, hopefully, eliminate dumb company rules.

 When I become the CEO of a large company, here are the five dumb rules I am instituting:

  1. No popcorn. There is always that one person who cannot read directions or work a microwave.  The office stinks of burned popcorn for hours.  No popcorn in this office thank you.
  2. No stopping by the office on your day off. It just makes the rest of us resent you. Just keep walking past the building and enjoy your day.  Final written reprimand if this occurs on a Friday.
  3. Only standard ringtones allowed. If “Back dat thang up” rings one more time during a meeting someone will be fired.
  4. No individual swag. If a client or vendor gives you a cool golf shirt, they better have 50 more on the way.  Either bring enough swag for everyone or leave it home.
  5. No Youtube. No reason, I just think it is the next wave of restrictions coming and I want to be a trendsetter.

All jokes aside, just think of the time and money saved if all companies took an objective look at their bureaucracy. We would have time to do the work we are paid for.  What a novel concept.

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