The Secrets to Making a Bureaucratic Organization Run Like a Startup

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As you’ll have noticed when you phone call centers, visit the bank, or deal with the government in any capacity, bureaucracy can make organizations slow and frustrating to deal with.

Endless forms and complex layers of approval impact a company’s services along with the morale of its employees. It can leave organizations unable to adapt to new market pressures or external threats.

The UK Home Office, during the Windrush Scandal, ended up wrongly deporting many people who came to Britain after the Second World War from the Caribbean. It was exposed that these people were being wrongly deported yet deportations and other negative effects continued, as illustrated by The Guardian. The organization failed to respond adequately, and a scandal was born.

Despite all this, large organizations in our society – whether they’re governments or big business – aren’t just going to go away. Instead they need to find ways to adapt and improve while retaining the benefits which pushed them to develop complex bureaucratic structures in the first place.

The big question is: how do you manage operations within a bureaucratic organization so that it can run with the agility of a startup?

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In this Process Street article, we’ll explore:

  • When, how, and why bureaucratic organizations experience slow movement
  • The failures of large organizations to achieve efficiency
  • 4 key examples of big bodies trying to break free from the problem
  • Our important takeaways for how you can maintain agility and efficiency in a large organization

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