Bureaucracy is there mainly because somebody wants to save their ass.
Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to take a chance, or because they feel the risk is too high, or because they prefer not to be bothered rethinking a process that has worked once, or because they are disturbed by the chaos that different opinions and ways would bring about, or because nobody has ever done it before.
Bureaucracy puts an end to all that and it protects somebody’s ass. It’s infuriating, unnerving, impossible to understand. But it’s safe.
Bureaucracy is inevitable in many aspects of life, but a bureaucratic mindset can sneak in places where it should probably not be.
Like a team, or a project that aims at being innovative.
If you have something you care about – an idea, some work you have done, a job, a project, a new product -, it’s fair for you to assume that nobody else will get it. And it’s your responsibility to explain it, sell it, evangelize it, adjust it, combine it, market it.
That means two things.
First, that we can’t assume that we will hit the mass on day 1. Overnight success is a hoax, but you know that already.
Second, and most importantly for this post, that your role very soon gets much more complex. Because if you want to buy people into whatever you are doing (that you care about), you need to spend a large amount of your time talking about it.
And I guess that the bad news is that nothing is self-evidently great.