Jenni Catron: Throw Out the Rule Book
By title I am the rule maker and the rule keeper. It’s kind of a given as the Executive Director of an organization.
But guess what?
I hate rules, policies & most procedures.
Most of the time they are a necessary evil. On a few occasions they are necessary. On most occasions they’re evil.
Why do I hate them?
Rules, policies and most procedures are the easy way out. They’re a scapegoat for true leadership.
Policies are usually a reactionary fix to an issue you’d rather avoid. Oftentimes we create a policy when we want to avoid a tough conversation. Rather than address the specific person and the issue, we create a policy to hide behind.
However there are occasions where some parameters need to be established. I like to call these filters.
Here’s how I define the difference:
Policies are blankets. They don’t account for nuances or growth. They leave little room for conversation or flexibility.
Filters are “if this, than that” parameters that lead to sound decision making based upon values or agreed upon standards. Filters also increase accountability because they force discussion.
At Cross Point we’ve created filters for things like:
• Continued education and development. Staff are encouraged to find ways to continue their personal development via books, conferences, etc. They are given a few guidelines and budgets, but each staff person and their manager determine the best course of learning for them each year.
• Sunday staff schedules. Based upon their role and responsibility we determine their work schedule for Sunday. Some staff have greater responsibilities than others for Sunday services and we adjust their work week to make the best use of their time and contribution.