Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to Combat Bureaucracy? (Part II)

The government, organizations, and companies would operate more efficiently using circular organizations. The key to a circular organization is that no one person or group is placed at the top, but there is one key group or person at the center (sun or nucleus). All groups, organizations, and entities located in the circle are considered equal and therefore, it allows information to flow in both directions. Take healthcare for instance. One thing that is hard to find in the federal government flowchart is the patient. In a circular flowchart, the patient should be at the center of the circle, like the sun or the nucleus is the center of solar system or matter. All players in the healthcare industry such as hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, government entities, and so forth should revolve around the patient and have an equal partnership in improving care and reducing cost. The information comes from the patient to government entities to drive reform, not the other way around. Conversely, corporations should place a project team at the center of an organization with management entities revolving around them. This would yield more power to the common worker and create an environment where the desired information flow from workers to management is more prevalent.

Our school system would be another excellent example of implementing a circular organization. In a circular organization, the student is at the center with unions, administration, parents, teachers, facilities, and curriculum groups revolving around the student. However, that is not the way schools are organized. In fact, in many cases unions and administrations act independently to drive curriculum and to push their personal ideological agenda on students. In a circular organization no one entity can act independently since they cannot pass their agenda without consent of other organizations in the circle or the consent of the group located in the nucleus. Another example would be our society in general. The executive branch, legislative branch, judicial branch, state governments, local governments, corporations, charitable groups, and so forth should have equal power and revolve around the constituent. After all, without the constituent we would have no governments, corporations, or other groups.

Circular organizations are much more efficient because they eliminate waste since it is much easier to identify redundant programs. They eliminate barriers by allowing information to flow easier between organizations. In a circular organization there is no need for titles, big offices, or other barriers if everyone is on the same level. Circular organizations allow corporations and government entities to place the focus of their business or program in the right place. In other words the focus for healthcare is placed on the patient; the focus for our governments is on the constituent; the focus for the school system is placed on the student; and the focus of the corporation is placed on the people designing and manufacturing the product. This means information flows from the focus entity to other groups more prevalently. The focus entity of circular organizations should be driving reform and policy and not the other way around. Most importantly, circular organizations motivate workers, patients, and students because they have a bigger say in the process. Hence, productivity is increased. Patients are healthier, students are smarter, and companies are more profitable. Why don’t businesses and government entities organize themselves in a circular fashion? We live in a world with power hungry egomaniacs that want to make more than they are worth and they want to dominate their peers and direct reports. Yes, the human ego and greed are destroying the government and businesses by creating organizations that emphasize their position and not the focus of their job.

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  1. Hi Patrick,

    You seem to have an endless supply of thought-provoking topics. I’m always scratching my head for something new to say.

    I’m not entirely sure that I understand how circular organizations would work (I bow to your expertise on that), but it sounds like you’re saying that a successful/efficient organization puts all of its focus on the consumer. We know that when private entities do so, they flourish, and when they don’t they flounder. We also know that the government has no direct relationship to the consumer, and I think this is by design. Liberals – the busy bees behind all gov’t bureaucracy – are instinctively driven to separate consumers from things that are purportedly done to service them. Plus they have a monopoly. That makes the consumer – i.e. the taxpayer – powerless, and that’s how they like it.

    You asked: “Why don’t businesses and government entities organize themselves in a circular fashion?”

    I believe it’s all about power. Who wouldn’t love to be free from accountability yet still enjoy the benefits of employment?

  2. CW, you are absolutely right, power is the reason. It is my belief that there are two things that will define a person's character - 1. how they deal with adversity and 2 how they deal with positions of power (if given the opportunity). In most cases once people obtain some position of power it tends to change them for the worse because they try to abuse it and get more power. Politicians for instance.