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The Role Of Rules


You don’t need to produce photo ID in Australia to vote. But the manager at our local post office will never, and I mean never, under any circumstances, give you the parcel you’ve come to collect unless you have photo ID. The result is he turns away more disgruntled customers than he serves happy ones.

The guy is just doing his job. The rules are the rules. But the question is, why these rules? Who do these rules best serve? What proportion of parcels awaiting collection are handed over to an imposter?

It’s worth checking if the rules we hold dear, and fast to are helping the people we serve.

Rules Checklist

  • Why does this rule exist?
  • Does this rule benefit the majority of our customers? How?
  • Do we have difficulty looking people in the eye when we explain this rule? Why?
  • What story does this rule tell the customer about our values?
  • How does this rule make us better?
  • What would happen if we scrapped this rule?

Doing what’s accepted or expected isn’t necessarily the right thing to do.

Image by Markus Spiske

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