Friday, 16 January 2015

January 16, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

    If you are a member of an organization, or are employed, you may have noticed a trend in the past few years.  This trend is the increase in the usage of forms, which in days of old, we called “bureaucratic red tape.”  These forms may appear on their own, or they may be part of a large manual of “rules.”

   The purpose of the manual and forms is to make sure nothing bad happens, and nothing goes wrong, however if it does, filling out the massive amount of paperwork involved will prevent it from ever happening again.

   This may come as a shock to some people, forms DO NOT prevent anything from happening.  Forms, filled out in triplicate or quadruplicate, do not prevent accidents.  They do not prevent crimes of any nature.  They do not prevent death.

   Forms also cannot account for every since possible variation that could occur.  Life happens.   

   Yet, more and more, we see people - usually in a higher management position and not on the frontline - insist that forms are necessary to prevent whatever calamitous event they dread.

   By the same token, we continue to see an INCREASE in accidents, fraud and/or embezzlement, deaths, and more.  

   There is an old joke that the cliché “Fight fire with fire” is wrong
and you should use what firemen use to fight fire…water.

   Fighting what you do not want to happen with forms just creates more of what you want to avoid.  If someone isn’t doing something now, making them fill out additional forms certainly isn’t going to make them do it.  People’s time ends up consumed by finding the right form, filling out the right form, submitting the right form, filing a copy of the form, repeat ad nauseum, that they are unable to deal with the situation in front of them.  Which is (statically speaking) rarely life-threatening.

Forms do not prevent bad things from happening, people do!  And when people are allowed to be present in the moment, they generally tend to make decisions that will naturally prevent many undesirable events from happening - including filling out unnecessary forms!


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