There is no ‘stupid rule’

01 September 2017, Jelena Fedurko-Cohen 

The role and objective of a rule – any rule – is to restrict. A RULE prescribes the RIGHT way – in order to restrict one from taking wrong ways.

Restricting comes only from the need to prevent a potential negative outcome of doing things ANY OTHER way than the way prescribed from the rule. Please note that in this case the negative outcome is KNOWN. An effort to prevent a known negative outcome cannot possible be stupid, and cannot be looked at as ‘stupid’. From the point of view of preventing a known negative outcome, a rule is smart and responsible.

When do we have a temptation to call a rule ‘stupid’? Only when we are very clear on the damage this rule causes us in achieving our objective in full. In other words, we see this rule as an obstacle to achieve what we want to achieve. Also, we are sure that we know the BETTER rule that will ALLOW us to achieve what we want.  At least, we want this rule to be removed to stop blocking us.

What is important to check when we are tempted to call a rule ‘stupid’? We should consciously check WHAT POTENTIAL NEGATIVE OUTCOME was prevented by this rule when this rule was developed and introduced.

In a recent discussion in our Facebook group TOC Practitioners Worldwide a statement was made: In the fashion industry, there are stupid habits, with which the distributor is difficult to fight. For example, the delivery of goods by the manufacturer once in a season. Often the replenishment of the stock is not available, because the goods from the supplier are discontinued or the stock ends.” In the continuation of the discussion a statement was made that this rule is not from manufacturers but distributors themselves.

It does not matter which side has introduced a ‘stupid’ rule/habit (when a habit determines behaviour, there is no difference between a habit and a rule, because a habit becomes a rule, even if informal).

What matters is to understand what negative is meant to be prevented/stopped by this rule/habit.

After we have got clear on the negative outcome that is prevented/stopped by this rule, the next step is to check if there is a danger that this negative outcome emerges when the ‘stupid’ rule is removed or changed.

If yes, the next step is to be very clear on how our NEW rule (our way) ensures that this potential negative outcome will stay blocked.


Jelena Fedurko-Cohen, 01 September 2017

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