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#21106 - 05/20/06 05:46 AM Preserve's Priorities vs. My Own
drkodos Offline

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
They have learned from larger buraucracies and have undertaken the next step.

Here is how they do what they now do:

~Spread responsibility. Ensure that any potentially wrong decision is taken by more than one person - preferably by a large committee so that it cannot be pinned on you.

~Consult Widely. Most opposition comes from colleagues, departments or outside bodies who resent exclusion, so include them all. It takes a lot of time but it does not have to be authorised by the treasury.

~Keep it a secret. If people don't know what you are doing, they don't know what you are doing wrong. Nothing damages a bureaucratic career more than a public outcry, so secrecy is vital. This extends to public documents. Avoid anything specific and stick to impenetrable abstract generalities. I.E.

~Cover all activities for which you are responsible with rigid rules and procedures. So long as you can show you followed the rules and kept to established practice, you are in the clear. Once you make exceptions or use your common sense, you are in uncharted territory.

~In any situation where there is a possibility of blame, put everything on paper to show that the blame is not yours.

~Avoid Risk. The rewards for success are immeasurably smaller than the penalties for failure.

~Avoid changes, innovation and hurry. Not just because of the extra work, but because of the opportunities for error once you loose the protection of a precedent. Milton Friedman's first rule of bureaucracy is: "The only feasible way of doing anything is the way it is being done." And avoid hurry, because, if things are done quickly, they are much more likely to be done wrong.

~Avoid measurable standards. If there are objective criteria for your success, people may be able to prove you have failed. By all means impose them on others, but demonstrate how none of them are applicable to you.

~Keep expanding. Put up proposals that require more staff, larger premises and bigger budgets. At the best this will make you more important and powerful in the system. At the worst, it should at least insure the avoidance of cuts. Whatever happens, never underspend your budget, or it will be reduced next year.

~Put all duties and responsibilities on others - your colleagues, other departments, outside bodies and the general public. Wherever else the buck stops, never let it be here.

Chances are, they will be losing my family membership and that of a few other people I know. I really do not even care if the climbing is lost. Really. There are actually more important things in a human being's life than saving plants and birds and rocks.

Like taking better care of people themselves. Better real relationships with actual people.

Quoted & Italicized material attributed to: Antony Jay, writing in the Daily Telegraph, June 17 1999


#21107 - 08/16/06 07:34 PM Re: Preserve's Priorities vs. My Own [Re: drkodos]
Pamela Offline

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 17
Loc: Gardiner NY
I like the way you think. I've added your thinking to my thought bank. I intend to make a withdrawal soon. In the meantime, it's earning interest.

By the way, I'm adding this footnote. I just got invited, by way of our friendly Town of Gardiner website, to get my semi-annual one-month-free card to visit Mohonk Preserve. Do you think they'll trade this is for a you-pay-your-share-of taxes card, or am I just spittin' in the wind?

Edited by Pamela (08/16/06 08:21 PM)


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