Throughout my many tours of duty I have always worked hard to move quickly and cut through bureaucracy. This was especially true of my tour of duty at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR)where I was responsible for Global Software & Data Engineering. I spent a bunch of time hacking the bureaurcracy @ NIBR and Novartis in general along with my trusted colleagues Remy Evard and Patrick Warren. One of my favorite stories was battling the Novartis corporate communications team who wanted us to change the color of all links on our internal websites from standard internet blue (reference here as to why they are blue) to conform to the “corporate style palette” — which was some form of burnt orange. Would only take a half dozen engineers a few man years…yesh! Was perhaps the funniest and most tortuous months of my life.
While I’ve done a bit of work in big orgs, noone embodies the ethos of bureaucracy-hacking better than my good friend Nick Sinai. I’ve known him for more than ten years now throughout his tours of duty at Insight Partners and Recorded Future. In his new book, Hack Your Bureaucracy, Nick and co-author Marina Nitze show why some people are particularly effective within bureaucracies while others fail miserably.
Drawing on rich experiences in the White House, Marina (former CTO of the VA) and Nick (former Federal Deputy CTO) have counseled three-star generals, CEOs, national politicians, students, friends, and neighbors on how to cut through even the most vexing organizations. Fortunately, they’ve broken down their hacks in bite-sized chinks and included to-do lists which can be used as a reference manual when you need to return to the book later.
Nick and Marina show that work at the White House is similar to work in a giant corporation, but instead, we should all be working like entrepreneurs who are mission driven and make something with almost nothing (or making stone soup, as they joke in the book). It should no longer be easier said than done– Hack Your Bureaucracy is giving everyone the tools to do it.