Monday, November 21, 2011

Policies and Flexibility

I've seen organizations operate in the following two extremes:
1. Has a set of strict policies but no room for the slightest flexibility.
2. Has no policies and thus operates in ambiguity.

The question is: "Which of the two is better?"

Buddhism talks about taking the middle road. Have nothing in extreme but everything in moderation. Thus, following the Buddhist philosophy and drawing from my own experiences, I can tell you for sure that neither of the two is better. While it's important for an organization to have it's set of policies, there also needs to be room for some flexibility. Therefore, the wise and efficient way is to take the middle road.

An organization operating only under a set of guided policies is sometimes like a machine. Employees are only following a set of predefined instructions. However, having no policy is giving room for biasness and inequity. Having a set of written policy not only promotes transparency but also reduces the risks of obscurity. 

Thus, an ideal organization is the one that has policies that establishes a fixed system for people to follow and promotes transparency. But, despite the existence of a system, being flexible means being more adaptable to change and prompt to respond during emergencies. Being flexible also means being human (after all a corporation is defined as 'An artificial legal person').

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