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[Seth Godin]: Very
little remarkable comes out of bureaucracies for a simple reason. The
members of the bureaucracy seek to be beyond reproach. Reproach is
their nightmare, their enemy, the thing to avoid at all costs. And the
remarkable feels like a risk.

Seth writes about marketing, and you may not think you’re “in” marketing (even though you are) — but if you have anything to do with risk or innovation, if you live in a bureaucracy, if you ever deal with a bureaucracy, this will be worth a few minutes of your time.

One of Seth’s ideas:

Appoint a CNOÖchief no officer. No
longer can someone say no to an idea and leave it at that. If you want
to turn something down, you‰ve got to pass it on to your boss….For a
‘no’ to be official, it‰s got to be approved by the chief no officer
and countersigned by every manager along the way….

He continues:

[W]hat happens to any organization that creates a culture where
maintaining the status quo requires your boss to give you the okay?…
I don’t care if you’re in radio, packaged goods, organized religion or
an online merchant. If you’re not saying yes to change, you’re slowly
losing whatever race you happen to be in.