Code of Conduct; Not the Law of the Medes & Persians
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Code of Conduct; Not the Law of the Medes & Persians

The Days of Company Policy, Codes of Conduct, unbreakable Rules and Regulations do little more than stifle a Company's productivity, frustrate and dispose of the best employees, and have become shackles which are deleterious to actual goals. Scrapping the old rules and creating extremely flexible ones is the path to success and the most modern businesses have already done so

It is a common story.  The Company, be it a Gas Station or a Factory, a Law Office or a Supermarket, creates a set of 'in house'  laws by which the employees are 'governed'.  The usual situation is that the worst employee usually picks a fight with the best, so that, according to the 'Code of Conduct' both MUST be fired.

The Company, forgetting that the Rules were passed at some Board Meeting by a number of Bored Members, assuming they were carried from Sinai,  feels impelled to let go of  their best employee.  That the business suffers is collateral damage.  Unless it reaches Bankruptcy Court, or goes out of business.

This kind of mind dead rule following has to be disposed of.    This is not a government, this is a business.  And what is good for business and what is bad for business are the only criterion.

Another common story;  Engineer has already taken his paid vacation leave.  His brother is getting married next week. He needs a few days off.  The Rules are such that no employee can take leave within eight weeks of their vacation.  He takes leave anyway. He is fired, given his severance and promptly starts to work for a competitor. 

Those doomed for failure will claim that One Must Follow The Rules!!!   Those Companies which succeed know enough to make exceptions.  As many exceptions as is necessary until such time the Rules are rewritten as to enshrine exceptions. 

In any Business, one size does not fit all.  The Best Employees, that is the most innovative, the most brilliant, don't look or act according to 'Company Policy'.  One of the most significant actions of Microsoft was to get rid of dress codes and punching in and go for work produced.  The most successful Companies today have followed this pattern, moving into the 21st Century.  Those which continue to hold to ancient Rules are left behind. 

Anyone who has ever worked on his or her own knows how productive they can be; and working 'for' someone; how totally unproductive they become.  Having to spend more time following Company Policy then performing the task sheer ennui takes over and they no longer remember why they were getting four signitures to have the computer repaired.

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