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The Law of Commonsense
1 min read

The Law of Commonsense

Startups in general do not like the idea of rules. It makes sense - you want to paint in an endless canvas.

While that is the notion in which organisations start off, they don't bloom unless there are some rules. And hence policies come into play.

You need policies not just in the operational side of the organisation, but also when it comes to working with customers.

There are two camps on this issue.

Camp A says there should never be any rules - empower each of the employees and those interacting with the outside world (customer service / customer success teams) to do the best to deliver a great experience.

Camp B says, nothing scales without process and hence build processes and templates for everything.

Camp A doesn't scale. Camp B over time feels like the Government - aka very bureaucratic.

The best insight I heard from a founder was this : Put in place policies and rules to ensure a baseline of experience. But if the rules contradict the outcome, use common sense to violate it (gladly).

I found that to be the perfect balance of a system that would allow for scale and at the same time, preserve the ingenuity of experience that startups deliver.

If you want to delight customers, the key is in pleasant surprises - and you can't do that with following rules.

This model of working however requires two things. Trust in your team that they will handle this power responsibly. And also the onus on the leadership to constantly remind the entire org what the goals are - and to follow the rules, and if the rules are going to contradict the outcome, then to consciously violate it and make an exception.

As an org builder though, if you constantly find a rule being broken and exceptions being made, it is perhaps time to relook at that policy altogether.

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