Business Rules Aren’t Meant To Be Broken

Makin’ the Rules

We go to alot of trouble to make the rules. Trying to account for all of the internal and external variables that govern our workflow and processes. We document them, refine them, ratify them and train people to observe them. We fold them into our workflow at the most appropriate junctures. They help us find our way. Rules in business are our friends if and when we nurture them and treat them like the dynamic and organic things that they are. Notice, they are organic meaning they can change.

Breakin’ the Rules

 I have to admit, I’m something of a rebel. I have broken a few rules. Nah! I’ve broken lots of rules. However, business rules are a different proposition. There is no joy in simply breaking them. Workflow gets turned around and the process breaks. Work suffers, people downstream suffer, quality suffers and deliverables – the domain of the customer – suffer. As leaders, we need to observe a code and an ethic that doesn’t simply break rules out of context. Change can and should happen in order for process and workflow to evolve yet that doesn’t happen (or shouldn’t happen) in a completely rebelious way. Otherwise, the value and benefits of a positive change risk getting lost in the chaos.

Create a Rule-Making Environment

I recently saw a giant among industrialists being interviewed on one of these new business channels (ok…MSNBC) and he made an excellent point – one fitting of his brand of CEO. He said, “I love the challenge of getting in there and making the process flow more smoothly, turning out a better product”.  I was inspired. It prompted me to remember the importance of doing things deliberately and carving out a path others can follow. If you’re going to mess with things, do it the right way so you can re-create the experiment. On the other hand, for all you rebels out there, don’t let a deliberate methodology dampen your enthusiasm for innovation and creativity. Embrace them both: method and disruptive innovation.


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