4 Easy Ways to Lead Through Red Tape

Red tape, yes, government is accused of spewing it, but most of us know that government is more of a victim of red tape then a purveyor of it -- ever heard the phrase, ‘That’s not how we do business’? or somebody tell you that you can’t do somebody because of some regulation. Yes, that’s red tape. So how do you cut through the red tape? Tom Fox is the vice president of leadership and innovation at the Partnership for Public Service, and he told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER Program that there are ways to cut through the red tape. Fox's Ways to Cut Through the Red Tape
  •  Work with your leaders and employees to pick the right problem.This is more art than science, but you’ll want to pick administrative or operational problems that will measurably improve your team’s productivity or satisfaction. One federal executive we’ve worked with actually put the question out to employees and his senior leadership team, then picked from among the problems they nominated.
  • Prepare a team to lead the process. Everyone’s busy, but you can appoint a small team of leaders and employees to work with you to prepare an agenda, facilitate the Work-Out session and ensure implementation. Depending on the size of your group, a team of six to 10 folks working part-time on this may be enough.
  • Just keep moving. Once you actually begin the process, the desire to spend more time on defining the problem or just venting naturally emerges. Resist the urge and just keep moving. If you receive the feedback that participants felt rushed, you probably did things just right.
  • Stay the course. Despite your very best efforts, you may find that implementation plans hit a few speed bumps along the way. Don’t throw up your hands and return to business as usual. Keep pushing forward even if it ends up exceeding your 90-day timeline.
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