In the best of times, bureaucracy is not an ideal environment within which to make decisions. The lack of skin in the game that bureaucrats exhibit shields them from bold, decisive actions. But in times of crisis, whether on a battlefield or amidst a pandemic, layers up and down a chain of command can kill a lot of people.
I am not being melodramatic here. The more layers involved in decision making, the less responsible people feel. They are not empowered to make decisions, but to delay and avoid them. Imagine if you are in a battle and under fire, you better have someone with guts to make decisions on the ground. In business, a chaotic environment also demands decisiveness.
In the present COVID crisis, the medical establishment is wedded to top down decision making, placing a lot of people in harm’s way. Indecisiveness and procrastination has been baked into the medical bureaucracy. When times demand bottom up, on-the-ground decisions, the medical bureaucracy feels threatened. Why? Liability is one reason but also their esteem of rank and bureaucratic privilege is at risk.
Administration layers need to be reduced and organizations from medicine, business, and military or even on the football field needs to be reduced to react quickly.
By Jaffer Ali