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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Would Your Company's Bureaucracy Allow This?

Park Place, Boardwalk, and a hidden map with a secret escape route? For Allied POWs during World War II, Monopoly® games came equipped with real-life "get out of jail free" cards.

Wow. I did not know that. I'm not a big Monopoly player because my attention span is way too short for that type of game, but fascinating.

The article goes on to state how they went about it:
In 1941, the British Secret Service approached Waddington with its master plan, and before long, production of a "special edition" Monopoly set was underway. For the top-secret mission, the factory set aside a small, secure room -- unknown to the rest of its employees -- where skilled craftsmen sat and painstakingly carved small niches and openings into the games' cardboard boxes.

Along with the standard thimble, car, and Scotty dog, the POW version included additional "playing" pieces, such as a metal file, a magnetic compass, and of course, a regional silk escape map, complete with marked safe-houses along the way -- all neatly concealed in the game's box.

It made me think--if the British Secret Service approached my company about something like this, would the bureaucratic processes put in place--largely by HR--allow this to go through? Could it be kept secret? I swear, the more "top secret" something is the more people are involved and the more meetings occur.

I'm a big fan of allowing managers to act. Could yours in this situation? Even your senior management? Or would the policies and practices put a stop to it.

Think about it. Your CEO wants to move 10 employees into a different room. How many people would have to know and authorize that? Why so many?

Something to think about, anyway.

2 comments:

HR Wench said...

The only people who have to know are those moving and any helpers needed (i.e. big buff warehouse guy plus guy who knows how to hook up computers and phones). The nice thing about working for a small company. :)

I recall working for a large (5000+ employees) company where not only did the IT guy not know WHO I was but I had to tell him which building I was in as well as what my CUBE GRID LOCATION was. I think it was E22. It only took me 2 hours to find that out by the way. Then again, having about 40 other people in HR besides me was really cool. Lots of company for misery there!!!

CNS said...

#1--trick question, it's a world war, you could be shot for screwing things up (oh don't I wish...)

#2...my division was supposed to move when I started working there. 1 1/2 years ago. We moved last month. After the Director decided to move another Division into the building WE were supposed to move into, and us into their buliding...

But hey, it's really all Facility's fault, right?