Why Bureaucracy Kills Efficiency

Shawn Casemore • 2 Comment
Posted: July 6, 2015

A recent announcement by Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s restaurants about downsizing of the brand throughout this year in order to remove bureaucracy and increase the nimbleness of the fast food chain is proof positive of continued shift of some of the worlds largest organizations away from a top heavy management hierarchy and closer to self-managed teams.

This isn’t a new philosophy of course, with some of the most extreme examples of self-managed employees being those of Holocracy, more a trend then a sustainable approach to employee empowerment.

The reality however is that with multiple generations employed across the North American workforce, the predominance of which is increasingly becoming millennials, the once popular top down approach to management is becoming increasingly irrelevant and ineffective.

In my forthcoming book “Operational Empowerment” from McGraw-Hill I discuss a proven and sustainable approach to placing less emphasis on a top down management hierarchy, and greater energy into an empowered operation, one in which leadership shifts from directing and advising to facilitating and supporting.

Despite your thoughts relative to making this shift, be clear that this isn’t a fad.

One of the most significant challenges that companies face today regardless of size or sector, is finding ways to create a more collaborative working relationship between baby-boomers, Generation X and millennials, all of whom have different desires, motivators and instigators relative to achieving maximum performance and productivity both individually and collectively.

In the short term we will continue to see similar actions taken by other CEOs who follow Easterbrook’s lead in order to reduce bureaucracy and barriers between senior leadership and employees and facilitate greater efficiency and effectiveness for customers.

How are you engaging a multi-generational workforce to increase individual and collective productivity?

© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.

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