Companies have few guidelines and policies when they are small. Then they grow, become more complex and mistakes happen. In response to complexity and mistakes, guidelines, regulations, policies, work instructions and specifications are introduced. Companies are then relatively foolproof; however, creative and innovative thoughts are hardly allowed anymore and the company freezes. The "process python" has it firmly in a stranglehold and squeezes out the air to breathe.
Sometimes instructions and regulations are necessary and helpful, but often they stifle ownership and innovative or pragmatic solutions that could also be used to overcome growth problems and mistakes in day-to-day business. We therefore avoid regulations wherever we can. The basic principle is "people over process". We encourage our employees to make very good decisions on their own in the interest of the company, to take responsibility and to resolve mistakes and difficulties on their own.
We are constantly working to increase freedoms for staff and teams and to fight the 'process python'. Some examples:
Our policy for business trips, hotel bookings, corporate events etc. is 6 words long: "Act in the best interest of the company."
We have no approval processes for necessary procurements and no permanent budget controls. Here, too, the 6-word policy applies: "Act in the best interest of the company".
Our holiday policy also consists of only 6 words: "Take as much holiday as you want".
Some people think that these freedoms lead to chaos. But we don't have a clothing policy either and still nobody comes to work naked. There is no need for a policy for everything. Most people understand the benefits of wearing clothes to work without a policy.
Of course, there are exceptions to our rule aversion. We take absolutely no pleasure in unethical and unlawful behaviour. It is never in the best interest of the company to jeopardise the jobs of all of us by acting unethically and unlawfully.