The Wicked Podcast

Mark Schwartz: The Art of Bureaucracy

July 13, 2021 [email protected] Episode 54
The Wicked Podcast
Mark Schwartz: The Art of Bureaucracy
Show Notes Transcript

Everyone hates bureaucracy. What can we do to use its benefits and fight its demons? We talk to Mark Schwartz, CIO and Enterprise Strategist at Amazon Web Services about tackling bureaucracy.

Author page: https://aws.amazon.com/executive-insights/enterprise-strategists/mark-schwartz/
Get the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1950508153/

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Music:
'Inspired' by Kevin MacLeod
Song: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3918-inspired
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Marcus Kirsch:

Welcome to the wicked podcast where we read the business books you don't have time for. I'm Marcus Kirsch. And I'm Troy Norcross. And we are your co hosts for the wicked podcast.

Troy Norcross:

So, Marcus, I hate to think about this, but I'm only five weeks away from coming back to London.

Marcus Kirsch:

I missed you and I missed Oh, whines Yes,

Troy Norcross:

Yes, you do. No. I mean, and I always think about this. It was many, many a night sitting outside a pub over many glasses of wine, maybe one or two bottles of wine. that got us to really understand that there were great conversations to be had. And that got us to where we are today on this podcast. But enough of our kind of love athon. Who are we talking to?

Marcus Kirsch:

Yes. So today, we talked to mark Schwartz, he is the an enterprise strategist, or x CIO, similar to Amazon AWS services. So he works for nice, big companies got an amazing track record, and very interesting work over at the US government as well. And his book is called the art the delicate art of bureaucracy. So he talks about bureaucracy, pros and cons, and how he worked his way around it, or with it, or through it. So before I babble again, or ramble again, now I'm doing it. What were your insight?

Troy Norcross:

Yeah, so I really enjoyed a the book, B, I didn't realise that he'd written three other books. So there's total of four books, I'm gonna have to add those to my reading list. My takeaways from today are number one, not all bureaucracy is bad. There's a lot of bureaucracy that's in our lives. That is invisible to us, because it works for us, instead of working against us. And so kind of this, you know, tarring old bureaucracy is bad is is the wrong approach. And I think that's a really important way to look at it. And the other thing is, don't try to do an end run on bureaucracy, if you can use bureaucracy on itself. And he talks about kind of the the trap door in Md 102 management directive.

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah, I remember that one.

Troy Norcross:

Where she talks a lot about in the book, it's so Kafka ask, it's

Marcus Kirsch:

ridiculous. Yes,

Troy Norcross:

it is. It is very, but that and of course, there's three main characters, the monkey, the razor and the sumo wrestler. Well, before I give away any more, what were your takeaways?

Marcus Kirsch:

Yes, um, well, apart from Yeah, we both love to book this is, this is a great book, that's, that is really valuable even outside it for sure. As a designer, I say this as working in lots of different areas in organisation, I see this. So one of the things therefore is for me to talk to my designer friends, or people who are sitting with new practices coming to organisations or behaviour, science, whatever and proving what the value is, it's quite the one thing you pointed out is, show how you can de risk things because bureaucracy wants to de risk. First and foremost, that's why it's most of the time in place. So if you can make a case how you're de risking, and are delivering on the de risking and following the guidelines that are in place, if you can manoeuvre around that you're golden, you will get what you want, you'll be able to do your job. So that's one of my insights, which lovely, I think a lot of practices can learn from that, to start speaking that language. I think the other one, I'm looking at my notes, and I nearly lost my notes here. Right. So one was about design and the other one,

Troy Norcross:

it's so dark over there markets. I mean, you're moody with your skateboards in the background, but if you can't read your notes, no,

Marcus Kirsch:

I can't read my notes. I'm just like so many notes here that I took from the interview. I think the other one is around, I think just a little story. Um, because I, when we were talking to him, I had about 567 stories in my head that I could still relate to or across multiple industries, working in multiple positions, always trying to have to get a way through to make things happen. One of them was about procurement. So I was working at an advertising agency run procurement with PNG and obesidad. This is the list of suppliers. You can have to build this and we know from the get go like Those people can't deliver, because you look at their profile and what they can build. Impossible, right? So you go, well, we're not gonna be able to build this. But there was an exception, meaning that, Oh, well, if they can have those capabilities and those skill sets, then you can pick your own supplier, like great. So we just reject the requirements to the point where it was evident that we needed a different supplier, and therefore managed to be able to choose our own supplier of the given procurement list. So it's really, really important in this case, and Mark was saying the same thing. You know, he started a job at a government and there was all these documents read, and they seemingly had nothing to do with what his job in it was all about. But as he found out a few days later, it was really important to read those documents because they threw all sorts of Spanner into his works. And knowing the rules, and then being able to be creatively working around it makes things happen. And you can work even within the guardrails of bureaucracy. So know the rules. And you might get lucky. So that's my second takeaway. And the rules are,

Troy Norcross:

the rules are for our intro, it's under five minutes. We're breaking the rules. What should we do Marcus?

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah, go to the Well, is it? Is it a rule? Is it rule are we doing? are we paying for cratic Now, let's go to the interview. Hello, everyone. Today, we have Mark Schwartz with us. Hello, Mark. Thank you for joining us. It's a pleasure to be here. So as usually we start from the top, so please tell our listeners who you are and why you wrote the book. Okay.

Mark Schwartz:

My name is Mark Schwartz. I am currently an enterprise strategist with AWS. It's a strange title. The the idea of the position is that I'm part of a small team of people who used to be CEOs or CTOs, or other senior executives of large enterprises. And all of us did a digital transformation of some sort. We all did a large scale cloud migration. And our job really is to work with AWS customers, generally large enterprises, generally, senior level executives, to try to help them deal with some of the non technical but very real challenges in transformation. So I mean, things like cultural change and organisational structure and organisational politics and governance models, investment strategies, upskilling, you know, all the things that are really hard, because technical stuff we know is easy, right? So I, before I joined AWS, I was the CIO at US Citizenship and Immigration Services. And that's part of the Department of Homeland Security. It was my only time in government. And it was a fascinating experience. I learned a lot about working in a big bureaucracy and getting a transformation done there. Having come from the private sector right before that. So I've published four books now on generally on it leadership and on how senior executives who are not it people should be working with their it organisations.

Troy Norcross:

Great. So I said at the beginning, even before we started recording that both Marcus and myself both really enjoyed the book, I have to say that I recommended your book now, twice already. So this is really, really good. The first question that we've got lined up, is, it seems like you've taken some of your inspiration from Sun Tzu and and the Art of War, which I your I read, but you know, I read that many, many years ago. And as I said, I've slept since then. So I forgotten more than I more than I remembered. But one of the things your publisher talks about is at the end of the book, we're not sure if he likes bureaucracy or not. I like Okay, so we're gonna start with tell us your What is your definition of bureaucracy.

Mark Schwartz:

So, I have to admit, I wrote some of those things that my publisher says, and I deliberately put that one in. Because I, I wanted to make the point that bureaucracy isn't really something you like or dislike, it's it's a thing. It's like the law of gravity. You know, you can't like it or dislike it things fall. That's that's just the way it is. So the definition that I used is a simplified version of the standard academic definition which comes from the sociologist Max vabre. Who is writing Around 1920. And he lists a lot of characteristics that he considers to be the essence of bureaucracy. But what it really comes down to, for me, is a bureaucracy is a kind of social organisation. First of all, that involves rigid rules, rules that are applied universally, without exception, and rigid roles, meaning there's a division of labour, and people have accountability for a certain area. And they're chosen based on their expertise in that area, chosen by merit. So to really boil it down, it's a social organisation with rigid rules and rigid roles. And that's kind of the working definition that I use.

Marcus Kirsch:

So when you when we're looking at that, and you obviously, so use the word rigidity, a fair amount. And if we're looking at any news article, any it article, any kind of design, whatever organisational article, everyone talks about, flexibility, agility, and sounds to be a bit counter to rigidity. So if we are talking about, you know, experimentation, and some of the most prominent companies of our days, and when you're working for, you know, the experiment there try different things. It's more about effectiveness and efficiency. How do you match this? So how do you match this between how much bureaucracy because it's, it's taking down the ability to experiment and be flexible. But we all need a centre point, and rigidity, something we can agree on, right? To some extent, otherwise, we can communicate even. So what's what's How do you square that?

Mark Schwartz:

So I thought a lot about that. And what I realised is, these, these are not opposites. They're not in opposition, where we want flexibility, where we want agility is in our ability to change course rapidly to innovate, innovative, creative solutions, to inspect and adapt essentially, to to keep making decisions as we see how things are going. And that agility is absolutely crucial in every organisation, it turns out that one of the best ways to get that agility there is to have somewhat rigid guardrails and structures in place. So you'll find that a lot of organisations that use agile approaches to it, for example, use some sort of guiding structure or framework maybe it's like Scrum, you know, two week, increments, two week iterations and daily stand ups and things like that, you know, there's structure around it. Or in DevOps, where we will use automated integration builds deployments, you know, a lot of automation, which is rigid, if you think about it, it just works in a certain way. And you don't keep changing that. Being able to do those things is what gives you the true agility, and flexibility. Often, I'm asked by executives that I talked to, how can we have control over what's going on? If there's agility? You know, how can for example, with security, how can we make sure that the code that these agile teams are producing is secure? And the answer is you do it with rigidity, you have guardrails, you have automated security tests that keep getting applied. You have automated policy enforcement, in your cloud environment. All of these things are in a way, they're examples of bureaucracy. They're an automated kind of bureaucracy. But if you have those guardrails in place, then people can be as creative as they want and move as fast as they want. Because you know, they can't get outside the guardrails.

Troy Norcross:

So it's, it's interesting that the guardrails as you describe it, give the structure and yet a lot of people look at the structure and say it's confining and and it's limiting. In the book, you talk about a few different things. You've got the concept of the monkey, the razor and the sumo wrestler. And I was talking with Mark Marcus a bit earlier about using bureaucracy's weight against itself in the in the sumo wrestler, I think all comes razor and the idea that perfection is achieved not when there's nothing left to be added. But when there's nothing left to be removed, you know, is something very near and dear to my heart. It's like I'm counting To know when it comes to two new features, and the idea of introducing chaos, can you tell us a bit about the monkey, the razor and the sumo wrestling? And I want you can read the book or anyone can read the book and learn about them. But how did you come up with these as concepts?

Mark Schwartz:

Yeah, well, just a backup a little on on what you started out with there. People do resist bureaucracy. But one of the points that I was trying to make is a lot of bureaucracy passes unnoticed. There's a lot of it around us all the time. And we don't object to it, because it's not getting in our way. And so I tried to distinguish between bureaucracy that gets in your way, and bureaucracy that doesn't or I say good bureaucracy versus evil bureaucracy. Either way, the the evil, bureaucracy has certain characteristics that are not necessary for bureaucracy, there are certain characteristics that tend to get added to bureaucracy, that cause us all the pain that we experience. And if you can take those characteristics and get rid of them, or turn them into the positive equivalents, or analogue, not analogues, the corresponding positives, then you can actually make the bureaucracy work for you in many cases, rather than against you. The key to doing so i think is is the monkey, the razor and the sumo wrestler. Obviously, I started not with those three ideas Exactly. Or maybe they were, you know, subconsciously in my head or something. I started by going back over the techniques that I had used to deal with bureaucracy, in the government environment where it's very strong. And I put together this playbook of something like 30 or so techniques that we used to change bad bureaucracy into good bureaucracy, so that we could we can be flexible, flexible, and get the agility we wanted. And I looked at those 30 or so plays, and I said, that's an interesting, they sort of divide themselves into three groups. There, there are really three, almost personalities behind them or ways of thinking. And I gave a name to each of those groups that I think sums it up. And those names were the monkey, the razor and the sumo wrestler. I realised that let's take the monkey first. The the monkey monkeys traditionally are playful, mischievous, provocative, almost, you know, so many cultures have this trickster character in their mythology, or their legends, and it's very often a monkey. So the monkey techniques for dealing with bureaucracy have to do with being mischievous in a way, you know, being a little provocative. For example, taking some liberties and how they obey the rules. So I called it provoke and observe, I borrowed that phrase from somewhere, provoke and observe the same way as we say, inspect and adapt in the Agile world, the monkey does, that provokes and looks to see what happens. So a bunch of the techniques that I associated with the monkey are that kind of provocation and observation, let's like, the razor sums up another group of those techniques, because they all have to do with trying to make things that are wasteful, leaner. So turning bloat into leanness, let's say. So, trimming away the fat is a way to think about what the razor does. And that includes standard lean approaches, you know, based on lean manufacturing and Toyota production system. But also some other ways that I discovered that you can you can be leaner in a bureaucratic environment. And then the the sumo wrestler is the fun one for me as well. The sumo wrestler is about turning bureaucracy back on itself. And I was surprised to discover that you can do that actually, that bureaucracy can often be your ally in defeating bureaucracy. And the example from my experience is that we were faced with this big bureaucratic process called Md 102, management directive 102. And we had to follow this, you know, huge, well defined region process for everything we did in it. And it involved writing 87 documents and going through 11 gait reviews to get permission to move on to the next step and define 22 different in oversight roles. You know, it was just as Huge machine of a thing. And one of the things we did to get to be able to work within it was we we created our own bureaucratic policy. And our euro kradic policy only involves two gate reviews instead of 11. And only 15 documents instead of 87. And we knew we could do even better than that. But that was a start. And it was very formal, it was written in bureaucratic language, it was beautiful. You know, it's like a work of art when you when you master the tools, and we realise that often auditors, what they're doing is they're comparing your policy with what you're actually doing in practice, and making sure they are the same. So we realised that the auditor is would actually be enforcing our new policy if we if we did this, right, you know, if we pulled the right levers. And so in fact, the auditors were enforcing that everybody followed really good, it practices what I would consider good practices. So that's an example of the sumo wrestler This is bring the strength of bureaucracy around.

Troy Norcross:

What was the back door?

Mark Schwartz:

The back door? Well, it was partly that nobody questioned it because they loved to see a formal policy written down. But it was also a mapping, essentially. thing we did once that proved that we were satisfying all of the requirements of the big thing with our smaller thing. And that that mapping, we didn't have to do every time, we only had to do it once. And it was a little struggle to get people to agree that, you know, in fact, it did accomplish the right things. But once we did, then everything was streamlined.

Troy Norcross:

So what am i remembering? Because the backdoor that I was thinking of was in Md 102? There was a bureaucratic policy for an exception. Yes. And it was an exception that allowed you to exploit and create your own bureaucracy.

Mark Schwartz:

Yes. So that was not actually the backdoor for writing this policy. But it was the backdoor for the streamlining itself. And, yes, the way that worked is almost every good piece of bureaucracy has some sort of backdoor because the people who write it aren't crazy. So Md 102 said, you have to follow everything in this document all these crazy things. Unless you create a project tailoring plan and get it approved, you can tailor the process in other words, but you have to get it approved. And we said okay, we're gonna tailor it pretty much to do the opposite of what Md 102 says, that'll be our tailoring. And so we did that we wrote it up. And then the only question is, how do you get that approved? And we had some political support. You know, we had we had some support here and there, that was very helpful. But ultimately, what got us the approval was we said, well, you don't you don't have to accept this in the general case, let's just do this once as a pilot. And then we can look at it and see if this actually did meet all the requirements. And I knew it would, you know, I knew that it would satisfy everybody, once they saw how we were doing it. So we did it as a pilot, just a one time exception. And after that, we kept asking for the same exception, every time around, and there was no good reason to turn those down. Because things have worked out really well the first time as we knew they would.

Marcus Kirsch:

It's fascinating. It's fascinating how, you know, you need to set some kind of precedent. I mean, the law works like that, right? There's a precedent and an exception. And that opens doors, and reminds me reminds me years and years ago, we had an example, we had to deal with procurement. And I was like, Oh, you have to work with those people. Those are the only lists of people you can work with, unless it's something they can deliver. And then it was all about requirements, to shifting them to a point where they couldn't deliver and therefore we could actually pick our own suppliers, which we needed to because we needed to produce a high performance prototype and was just impossible to do with it given. So it's the same thing. It's It's interesting how to understanding this. There's a reason why.

Mark Schwartz:

I was gonna say there's a reason why you need to establish that precedent. And it's because the bureaucracy is not just dreamed up by some evil person. I mean, the bureaucracy is there for a reason. And so every piece of bureaucracy has its goal. There's something it's trying to accomplish. And what you have to do is show that there's a different way to accomplish the same goal that's leaner. And that's that is the trick of the razor essentially. Here's, you know, if you want to implement a certain control through the bureaucracy fine, we'll we'll just show you a different way to implement to implement that goal to accomplish that goal, that control or whatever it is. And so you have to show a demonstration that you are accomplishing that same goal, you know, achieving the same control. And once you've done that, then it's a lot easier for people to accept.

Marcus Kirsch:

I mean, this is interesting, because, you know, my background is a lot in design, as much as I've been a technologist and work with code and hardware and software and my life. But, you know, the practice of service design is particularly one because it looks a lot qualitative things rather than quantitative things. It does so equally, but it's quite challenged as a practice in organisations to be valued enough. And designers I think, are generally not great at, you know, describing the contribution to the bottom line necessarily, or talking in those numbers. But it's changing, it's actually in this interesting to see how the practice is changing. In that sense, though, what I wanted to ask actually, is that there's obviously a part where the way you measure them to achieve certain things is, is is the thing to hit. So if you do that, you're compliant, they're going to be happy. In I think, at least two of your examples in the book, this one, you talk about a map that's pinned down on a, on a, I think in the kitchen space or something, it's like, oh, yeah, just use the map. You can have it use and then someone didn't bring it back. And then the natural reaction was like, well, let's put the list of people who borrowed it with time and space and on it and whatever. And then you respond to like, no, why don't we just adjust our behaviour for the same outcome? And it's similar when you when you talk about how you were disproven that you're actually doing Scrum, because you deviated and actually made your Scrum more efficient, but you deviated from, you know, that this stone, the stone tablets of, of the Agile consortium and basically adjusted it, and then the bureaucrats told you off? Right? How does behaviour play? And like we can say, right, there's certain things you can cover with rules and others, you can actually bring value or be compliant with behaviour. How do you stay lean and say, right, we can achieve the same, let's just being better at focusing and putting some energy into our behaviour. We still achieve the goal. I don't have to develop or how do you to stay away and keep keep the bureaucracy leaner so to speak?

Mark Schwartz:

Yeah. So I distinguish between two different things here. There are places where you have to have bureaucracy, and you can make the bureaucracy leaner. And then there are other places where you don't need the bureaucracy at all. So in the first example, you need the bureaucracy because you have to have formal controls of some sort. So for example, in any environment where you have regulatory oversight and compliance requirements, maybe you have Sarbanes Oxley compliance, and you have HIPAA compliance and things like that. You absolutely have to have bureaucracy, I think there's no way to be compliant with those things without having formal controls and formal sign offs, formal rules, formal, rigid roles, to sign off on things. That's the essence of bureaucracy, you need to establish that you have controls over things that that you're applying those controls, and that somebody can sign off that the controls were applied. Essentially, that's what those frameworks are about. So short, any bureaucracy there. Another place where you need bureaucracy. I love to give this example because it's so foreign from the way most people think about it. But marketing, branding. So a brand can have a tremendous amount of value, let's say Coca Cola, McDonald's, Amazon. And in order for your brand to have value, you have to have strict rules around how it's used and how its expressed. So you say everything we publish has to it has to be in this font. And the logo has to look like this. And it can only be combined with other logos in the following way. And you need to get approval, if you want to combine the logo with something else. And this is bureaucracy is a perfect example of bureaucracy, and it's very valuable because it makes your brand much more valuable. Well give me one more example. That's another counter intuitive one. We Is my employees were unionised when I was working in the government, and we had a collective bargaining agreement with the union. And the collective bargaining agreement was this huge piece of bureaucracy, but imposed by the employees on management. So it said things like, employee cubicles have to be a certain size. And before management can make any change that affects working conditions, they have to publish a certain certain disclosure. And the union's allowed to bargain on all this is your accuracy is beautiful bureaucracy, but it's meant to make sure employees are treated fairly, etc. So again, they're for a good reason, arguably. So anyway, those are cases where the bureaucracy is essential. However, you can often implement the goals of that piece of bureaucracy in a leaner way. So, you know, just because Sarbanes Oxley says you have to have controls over your fine financial performance, it doesn't say that you have to stand on your head 10 times, you know, before you write any financial statements, that would be a waste standing on your head 10 times, you know, obviously, you can you can fulfil that in a in a lean way or a bloated way. And you should always be looking for leaner ways to do those things. Now, in the example that you cite, the thing pinned to the, to the wall in the in the team room, there, the the need for bureaucracy is not clear. So having this sign out sheet and, you know, logging, what time you took it and all of those things? Yes, it will make it possible to find that piece of paper when it goes missing. However, it imposes a cost, because all bureaucracy imposes a cost. And is the risk of losing the paper again, and the cost to try to find it? Does that justify the additional cost you're going to put on everybody who tries to use that piece of paper by imposing the bureaucracy? And my answer was, no, it's not worthwhile. We do better to encourage people to do the right thing. And, you know, save, save our money essentially save our time, instead of going through the bureaucracy. So both patterns of thinking are important when you're when you're working in a bureaucracy.

Troy Norcross:

So I worked for an advertising agency in London, and the client was big pharma. And we were doing innovation and innovation around pharma around patients is tricky in the best of times. And I said every good idea that we had, was always attempted to be killed by the three knives. The three knives were legal, regulatory, and compliance. And then last year, I worked for a an offshoot, a free standing entity of a bank, and I got a fourth knife and the fourth night was called risk. So legal regulatory compliance and risk became the killers of all ideas. How do you help an organisation move from, as you say, regulatory troll or burack, bureaucratic roles? Socratic enablement and then as as the cherry on the cake, they're afraid this might be your last question we have time for. Please tell us the story of red tape.

Mark Schwartz:

Okay, well, I think you said the key word yourself their risk. We We put a lot of obstacles in the way of innovation because innovation is risky. By nature, when you're trying something new, you don't have any, you know, past to rely on. And so you're always speculating about the innovation and how it's going to change your business or how it's going to succeed. So you put controls in place to manage that risk. So there are a couple of ways you can fix that or or improve that situation. For me, the biggest one is reducing the risk. So if there's less risk, you need less bureaucracy unless people saying no to everything. And there are ways you can reduce risk. One is to work with minimum viable product and then work incrementally after that, and stage your funding. So you're not fully investing in the innovation at first you're waiting for it to prove itself, or to have a portfolio of innovations and only invest in the ones that seem the most promising after you, you know, get started with them. Those are risks. mitigating the automated controls and guardrails I talked about before, those can be very risk mitigating, working in the cloud, to my AWS position, hugely risk mitigating. Because if you're working, let's say, in your own data centre, when you want to try something new, you're going to spend a lot of money upfront, to develop the capabilities to get the infrastructure into your data centre, things like that. All of that is at risk. If if it turns out the idea doesn't work out. So that's a very highly risky environment. Whereas if you work in the cloud, you can get access to infrastructure quickly try whatever it is to prove out your idea. If it doesn't work out, you just dispose of the infrastructure and stop paying for it. If you need different infrastructure, you can change it at any moment. If you need advanced capabilities, like machine learning, or augmented reality, virtual reality, you don't have to spend a long time developing them yourself with all the risks that involves, you just get them off the shelf as building blocks in the cloud. So again, hugely risk mitigating. So the first trick to getting that bureaucracy out of your way is to reduce the risk of it. The the second trick is to value, agility, and innovation, because they have business value, per se. So we often don't evaluate. So for example, if you're going to make changes to your it code, and infrastructure, and so on, so that you will be more agile in the future, or so that you'll be able to make changes more quickly in the future. How do you make the business case for that? How do you how do you establish the value of that, because you don't know what kind of return you're going to get from it. In fact, you don't even know how you're going to use the agility. Nevertheless, it's clear that it has value, you know, being able to respond more quickly in the future. And, and the other things you get with agility, that has value to a business is just that you can't project it the same way that you predict other business cases. It's more as I explained in various places, in my books, it's more like valuing a financial option. It's like a call option. Or, you know, or it's a risk reducer, you can think of it a few different ways. But in order to avoid that, no saying bureaucracy, you have to establish that there is value business value in saying yes to things. And in saying yes, in general, you know, and having a process that lets new innovations get tried out. And that's a little hard for companies do to get used to sometimes. Oh, and you asked me about Rand, and red tape. Great. Yes, the

Troy Norcross:

right day.

Mark Schwartz:

This is how I learned a lot of things. When I was researching this book. I learned a lot about you know, Napoleon and bureaucracy and ancient Egypt and bureaucracy. And one of the things I learned along the way that I shared in the book is is where the expression red tape comes from. And obviously, red tape is one of those things we hate about bureaucracy. Its origin, though, is not so horrible. It actually dates back to the Emperor Charles Charles the fifth, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the king of Spain. And he had a few other titles that I can't remember. This was in the 16th century. And He instituted this really big innovation and government, which is that for his important laws, instead of tying the scroll up with with string, he would he would put red tape around it, so everybody would know it was important. So that's where red tape comes from, actually.

Marcus Kirsch:

Lovely, I think. So we now got even a couple of 100 years old history lesson, right? And you never know what you're gonna hear from me. I think in general, you know, look, I haven't run this podcast now for nearly a year, and with nearly 50 episodes, now, it's brilliant. It's the best benefit of it. I think in this case, in particular, it's very refreshing to see a very nuanced view on this to go. And you might have written that for your publisher, but you know, you don't love or hate it. I think that applies to a lot of things in life where you go, you don't have to love or hate anything. It's just it's there. Got to deal with it. The way you deal with it is up to you. And here are some examples of what you can do and what actually works, which is brilliant. So we really loved the book for That and yeah, you if you would have been there 510 minutes before the recording we were in a quite a intense conversation about it, some of the aspects so it's, it's, it's, it's, it's a great book. And thank you so much for your insights and for your stories and for spending some time with us. So, Mark, thank you so much.

Troy Norcross:

Thank you. It was a pleasure. You've been listening to the wicked podcast with CO hosts, Marcus Kirsch and me, Troy Norcross,

Marcus Kirsch:

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Troy Norcross:

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