How can one Deal with Bureaucracy?

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How can one Deal with Bureaucracy?
Dieter Hoffenbrauer, Interim Manager, Germany

If we are unable to (fully) eliminate bureaucracy you're faced with, how can one then cope with such bureaucratic environment?

Any tips on surviving in a bureaucratic organization?

Working and Achieving Things DESPITE of a Bureaucracy
srinivas, Test Manager, India
Steps to eliminate bureaucracy would result in an organizational environment that enhances creativity. But however well designed such initiatives to improve the organizational environment of employees may be, there will always be some residue of bureaucracy left with which one needs to work. Awareness of the following might help in dealing and coping with a bureaucratic setup:
  1. Work to eliminate the opposing power structure which acts as impediment to deliver value.
  2. Find a solution which satisfies all existing boundary conditions.
  3. Lead by setting an example.
  4. Strengthen the forces to move forward to achieve goals without dampening the spirit in face of opposition.
  5. However good the preparation has been, align the energy in line of true spirit of service.
  6. Care for treasury.
  7. Dissolve the unwanted gradually.
  8. Establish mentoring.
  9. Validate the truth.
Organizational (external) adjustments may work, however to be effective and peaceful, internal preparation at different levels of being such as physical, intellectual, emotional, conscious, subconscious and spiritual is required to achieve focus.

How People Deal with Bureaucracy
Therese Palange, Project Manager, France
Some people react ACTIVELY when they are faced with bureaucracy, finding creative workarounds. Others may react more PASSIVELY when they are confronted with bureaucracy, avoiding the bureaucracy. Some may even GIVE UP COMPLETELY, deciding to not further proceed with the problem or issue at hand.

Accept Bureaucracy Exists, But do not Let it Stop you
Maria Sebate, Other, South Africa
Bureaucracy can be called a creativity and innovation killer. It delays progress and where possible should be eliminated.
The best way to deal with it is to accept it exits and do not let it stop you from achieving results.
Some people hide under the cloud of bureaucracy to under perform.
I believe executive coaching could help eliminate bureaucracy even though it might take a bit of time. Organizations should also continue giving leaders feedback through employee surveys.

What is Bureaucracy?
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa
Although the word "bureaucracy" creates images of time-wasting by obstructive officials, is this really bureaucracy, or is it rather the result of using disinterested and self-seeking petty officials?
Bureaucracy, per se, is really nothing more than a system designed to manage and regulate the administrative support that is essential for the smooth and efficient operation of a business. When this system becomes bloated, inefficient and/or abused by operators, the system is not at fault, the management is. It is the responsibility of management to monitor and manage the administrative system for the greatest benefit of the business and those operating the administrative support services.
We have all experienced the occasions when an official has used the system efficiently and the pleasure we have felt from the speedy and relevant result. It is the misuse of bureaucracy that needs to be monitored and managed, not the system itself?

Bureaucracy is a Problem in the Arab Region
aymen, Entrepreneur, Saudi Arabia
It is one of the most difficult challenges in the Arab region. Firms take the bureaucracy as a routine system to monitor their employees which leads to low productivity and losing the confidence of employees.

Re: What is Bureaucracy?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Andrew Blaine: Thanks for your reaction.
The problem with the word "Bureaucracy" is that it is used in 2 different ways:
1. The historic, neutral meaning ⇒ to indicate the administrative support function of an organisation.
2. The current, negative meaning ⇒ indicating the annoying phenomena of time-wasting obstructive officials, overly complex procedures, etc.
I suggest in this discussion we focus on the second, current meaning. How can one deal with that if we can't fully eliminate it?

Not Capable of Making Changes to Bureaucracy
mohammed, Student (University), United Kingdom
@Aymen: I fully agree with you honourable gentlemen, however, in this respect, let me shed some light on the core fear of issue in Arab countries. We are draining our creative mindedness to spot the existing phenomenon of bureaucracy with deep analytics. But in contrast, we are not capable of actually contributing to go forward to new changes and take risks. We believe in appropriate changes, but we are not capable of going through them.

English as She Should Be Spoke
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa
@Jaap de Jonge: Hi there Jaap, Thank you for your response, which I find strange and difficult to accept. One of the skills with which I have been blessed is to write Simple English. I treasure this gift because it has helped me bring understanding and clarity to many people through the "translation" of legal and regulatory documents into English that can be understood by the common man. Should your comment be valid, and not the result of laziness or obfuscation (a large word which means "confusion created by fudging and avoiding the key of an issue") on the part of users, then I feel we need to choose the approapriate name despite any non-PC association. Again it is my opinion that "Bureaucracy" is not the problem, Its application and abuse is?

Bureaucracy Has a Negative Connotation
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Andrew Blaine: I wanted to point out that the way people nowadays understand 'Bureaucracy' is mostly if not only negative. It indicates the annoying phenomena of time-wasting obstructive officials, overly complex procedures, etc.
In that definition, the use of the word 'bureaucracy' already implies a problem. I looked up 'bureaucracy' on Wikipedia and found: "Since being coined, the word 'bureaucracy' has developed negative connotations. Bureaucracies have been criticized as being too complex, inefficient, or too inflexible."
Therefore in common parlance, bureaucracies are perceived as a problematic reality that has to be dealt with, since we can't fully eliminate it.

How Can One Deal with Bureaucracy
Omar Bawajeeh, Other, Saudi Arabia
@Andrew Blaine: I agree fully with what you said Andrew Blaine, and that's what I was thinking of a minute ago! The problem is not in the system, it is in those who work it. I think we should look at, and deal with, corruption. That's what we have to fight and get rid of! If that disappears, then what is called 'Bureaucracy' will too! The word itself could fail you in dictation!

Struggle, do not Surrunder
Osama Kamal, Management Consultant, Egypt
@Aymen: Routine exists almost everywhere in the world. One has to stand for your principles and stick to them. Be optimistic, otherwise leave the place. Many organizations in the region are efficient and look for insight.

Bureaucracy Enhances Equality Before the Law
edward sevume, Other, Sweden
In the US, people say they want little government in their lives. And as it turns out, the quality of and access to public goods is not that promising. There is a view that bureaucracy is time consuming, ineffective etc.
But believe me, living in a democratic society where you know that you have the right to public goods and that the person in front of you is serving you on conditions of neutrality, squares with equality before the law. I
understand that bureaucracy in countries without good public institutions could lead to a bureaucrat using the system for own ends. But if one wants a society where public servants carry out their duties based on neutrality in front of the law, then a person with good knowledge on how to use that law is to prefer in order to develop a system of distribution that serves each and every person without other preferences than those the people have agreed upon.


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