Last night I submitted my speaking proposal for the Great Lakes Software Excellence 2011 conference. The title of my talk is Breaking the Law of Bureaucracy. A little back-story: One of my "Epic" stories (Resolutions) for 2011 was: As an agile proponent, I want to articulate the values, principles, and methods of the agile community to the traditional project management community, so there will be more mainstream adoption of agile.
What's my acceptance criteria for this Epic? I must appear (speak) at no less than 4 conferences. I must write at least 1 article to appear in a trade publication. I must publish my book (Zombie Project Management).
As you would expect, I broke the epic down to multiple (actionable) stories and prioritized them. The GLSEC is number 2 of my 4 conferences.
Below is the abstract I submitted as part of my proposal.
Abstract - Breaking the Law of Bureaucracy
The law of bureaucracy exists in all organizations. The larger the organization, the stronger the law. Examples of this law, in a business organization, would be those who work and sacrifice to bring value to the customer, versus those who work to protect policy, process, and procedures (regardless of use or value). The Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.
Top-down organizations are suffering from the worst case of egoism: When each person acts to create the greatest good for himself or herself. When the organization and its employees make decisions merely to achieve individual goals (at the expense of others), they lose sight of the original organizational vision or goals. The law of bureaucracy can be broken, through team empowerment and altruism: From this perspective, one may be called on to act in the interests of others, even when it runs contrary to his or her own self-interests.
This talk will introduce ten characteristics of servant-leadership, to help those who currently manage others, to break the law of bureaucracy.
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