Gaming bureaucracy

The game is that you have got to try to get the best outcome for vulnerable people and children that you really care about.

What are the rules?

They start off really complicated and hard to remember like the World in Flames board game (200 page rule book)

Only these rules are really boring.

You find you can just about get a few vulnerable people through the game in one piece.

Next start randomly changing the rules to make them as irrational as possible. Keep changing them every time the game is played.

  • Most of the players are now thinking – I haven’t got time to read the new rules and get my people through the game – plus what was the objective again?
  • Clever creative ones are trying to work out the best and quickest ways of cheating to get good outcomes without being caught.

Some players decide that the best thing to do is to read and learn the new 200 page manual – now they have greater status because although they have forgotten what the objective is – people will turn to them because they are the only ones that seem to be keeping up with the rules.

They also have power because the rules are changing so fast they can accuse others of cheating and make them start again from go.

These people get promoted because they are showing resilience and adaptability, they don’t complain and certainly don’t ¬†ever say ‘this is madness’ – they stay safe and never question. They say ” I like the new game I think it’s really challenging and interesting”. “What about the vulnerable people though?”. “Uh?”.

Meanwhile almost none of the vulnerable people are getting through the game any more.

Process over outcome is the biggest problem in the Public sector

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