The arc of bureaucracy is long and bends toward dysfunction.

With apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, I would like to say, “The arc of bureaucracy is long and bends toward dysfunction.”

Experience has taught me that bureaucracies (such as those you find in the institutions of religion, education, government, etc.) are a necessary evil. Society cannot exist without institutions. And, sadly, institutions seem unable to exist without bureaucracy. 

Yet, as I say in this week’s podcast, nearly every institution began not as an institution but as a mission in which a small group of people wanted to do something big for the sake of others. 

However, these missions quickly segue into bureaucracies where the most important task is to keep the institution alive even if that means abandoning the original mission. And too often the original mission is abandoned for the sake of bureaucracy.

As I state in the podcast, this has already happened in public education. But, though we may never rid ourselves of bureaucracy, can we reform our bureaucracies so that they’re pulled back closer to the missions on which they were founded?

Call me crazy, but I think we can.

I hope you’ll listen to this week’s podcast:

and send me your feedback at

C’mon wid it!

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