Czar Of Bad Systems

1 minute read

After spending $200 on approvals and other bureaucracy to send a t-shirt to someone (acrophyal?), HootSuite CEO appoints a “Czar of Bad Systems”, Czar Noel, who is charged with helping “cut the proverbial ‘red tape’ that is often cursed but rarely challenged”.

In a company of 1,000 people, we’re talking about hundreds of employee hours saved over a year’s time–just on ordering swag. Once I realized that, the gears started turning: How much time and money were being tied up in other bad and broken processes–simple stuff that was eminently fixable, but that no one was looking into?

This reminds me of how Security, Ergonomics, standardized IT, and other bureaucracies work at some companies. When decisions are made about standards, processes, forms/paperwork, etc., rarely the Opportunity Cost of these decisions is considered.

As an example of bureaucracy trumping usage, my company blocks any website in a non-Generic TLD not reviewed and categorized by our proxy provider. Sounds like a good idea, except that when doing any amount of “real” development you soon realize that many informative and necessary nuggets of information are published on “personal” webpages on All of these pages are blocked by default, and to get these unblocked one has to fill out a form, wait for external proxy provider to review and publish info about the website, then wait up to a day or two for that to be refleced locally. Doesn’t cost Security anything to have this restrictive policy, so it is unlikely to change, yet I’m sure that the Big 4 don’t have a deny-first policy for websites.

Source: FastCompany: Why This CEO Appointed An Employee To Change Dumb Company Rules (HT)