LCM Podcast 16 – Debugging Bureaucracy

In this podcast, we hand over the hosting reigns to Lean Change Facilitator Richard Atherton – one of the leaders of Lean Change in the UK.

Richard first discovered Venkataraman on LinkedIn in 2016 and was attracted to his incisive writing on organisations. In this episode they explore:

  • What do we mean by bureaucracy?
  • How do we “debug bureaucracy”?
  • What’s the meaning and value of “working out loud”?

Venky and Richard recommend the following if you’d like to dive deeper on bureaucracy:

David Graeber’s The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

Neil Postman’s Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy


You can find more of Venky’s writing at LinkedIn, especially Debugging Bureaucracy and the Voldemort Effect.

About Richard

15+ years experience as a programme leader, coach and advisor in practicing the Lean/Agile philosophy.

In the summer of 2000, Richard helped lead one of the first fully Agile software implementations in the UK, just 9 months after Extreme Programming was first published and before Scrum was even invented. He hasn’t looked back.
Richard has since coached a panoply of teams to fruitfully adopt a Lean/Agile approach including senior leadership teams, sales teams and groups of hard-bitten journalists.
Richard attended Lean Change Agent course in Hamburg in 2015 and immediately started getting powerful results from the techniques with his clients in the UK. Richard went on to co-lead the very first Lean Change Agent workshop in the UK. Richard is a regular blogger on Lean/Agile themes, a conference speaker and a contributor to industry magazines.
‘The best “from – to” programme I have ever seen’, CFO/COO, major UK broadcaster
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