Bureaucracy and the Awesomeness of Layers

Bureaucracy is made of many layers of authority and power. It pulls power up the org chart, where it belongs. With more and more layers, employees’ decision-making authority and power is just out of reach. Few people understand how incredible layers really are.

Bureaucracy justifies stripping nearly all authority from those at the bottom of the org chart. Allow me to explain why this is amazing.

What’s so Great About Bureaucracy?

Bureaucracy is my hero. I love it so much, I lovingly refer to it as “Uncle B.” Uncle B and I have been making great strides to keep all power at the top layers of the company, which is coincidentally where I reside.

Acting without consulting higher layers is a huge no-no. Underlings cannot be trusted with power to do their job in the same way the customer is usually wrong. Besides, how can a boss do his job if he isn’t directly involved with everything that happens beneath him? (For more information, consult my nanomanagement techniques.)

Layers enhance communication and collaboration. They are woven together tightly by “procedure” and “company policy” to facilitate communication throughout the entire company. In fact, there’s no way anyone can get anything done otherwise!

Any one layer is unable to do its work without coordinating with the layers above. Likewise, it is too busy overseeing layers below to do its own tasks, even if it had the power to do so. This increases communication and collaboration in the workplace.

How Layers Work

Thanks to Uncle B, Underlings must rely on their Overlings for decisions and permission and key codes and whether or not they can refund a customer’s purchase. In turn, Overlings have the constant privilege of exercising their modest amount of authority to solve minuscule problems for their Underlings.

Sounds like the second layer has some perks, doesn’t it? Well, no. They are constantly thwarted by the inability to execute their duties for the sake of protection and good business practices. You can’t just let employees run amok without constraints, now, can you? Of course not! Thus, it’s layers all the way up…

Except for the top layer, which has enough clout to ignore certain layers below and do whatever it wants.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Delegating responsibilities to your team members is useless if they are on a short leash. Start with a short leash and extend it as they prove themselves and earn trust. It’s a destructive cycle when you drive away good workers with red tape and focus on corralling stupidity. Avoid it at all costs!