Bureaucracy ⛰️

Problem statement

Bureaucracy, as delegated authority, has a role, but can be frustrating to work with.


Focus & organization

LaDonna Harris identified the importance of focus and organization in her work to raise awareness of and support for indigenous people, as documented in LaDonna Harris: Indian 101.


Nothing moves quickly in a bureaucracy. Pushing for fast action burns everyone out. Expanding my timeline generally seems to be the solution when I’m stressed about the pace of a project.

To quote Haile Selassie, in his 1963 address to the United Nations, popularized by Bob Marley’s “War”: “we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”


Another thing that helps is decreasing the scope of a change. If it takes too much effort to gain permission to publish an idea on a shared blog, I publish on my own, and then use that to gain support.


I’ve heard the phrase “Asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission.” The most significant application I’ve seen is with respect to alleviating bureaucracy: I was frustrated by required attendance at a pointless meeting and my manager advised simply not attending. This immediately reduced pressure, which leads me to wonder if we can generalize: if something is causing pain, stop doing it, and then deal with the fallout (if any).


Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me up @erikeldridge


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