By our estimates, an excess of bureaucracy costs the U.S. economy more than $3 trillion in lost economic output; a figure that rises to nearly $9 trillion when you include all of the 32 countries in the OECD.  
 
The first step in dismantling bureaucracy is to expose your organization’s Bureaucracy Mass Index, or BMI. How pervasive is bureaucracy within your organization? How much time and energy does it suck up? To what extent is it undermining resilience and innovation? Which bureaucratic processes are more trouble than they’re worth? To get an initial read, fill out the assessment below. 

* 1. Roughly, how many organizational layers are there in your organization? (From front line employees to the CEO or equivalent role)

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i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 2. As you think about the level of supervision and oversight you receive from your boss (check-ins, orders, requests, feedback, etc.), do you feel generally under-managed or over-managed?

* 3. How many direct reports does your boss have?

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i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 4. How much time do you spend on bureaucratic chores that you believe of are of limited practical value (preparing reports, attending meetings, complying with requests, securing sign-offs, and interacting with staff functions such as HR)?

Less than 10% 30%
i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 5. Think about your involvement with each of the following processes. How would you rate the value of each process, in terms of benefits versus time and effort?

  Very valuable Quite valuable Somewhat valuable Not very valuable Of little or no value
Strategic planning 
Target-setting
Budgeting and budget reviews
Management reporting
Personal performance reviews
Training and development
Regularly scheduled team and staff meetings

* 6. As you think about the role of functional staff in your organization (HR, Finance, IT), do you feel they devote most of their energy to improving business results or ensuring compliance with internal rules and regulations?

* 7. What percentage of employees in your organization have 20% or more of their compensation tied to customer satisfaction, profitability or other external performance targets?

* 8. What percentage of your interactions with your manager and functional leaders (meetings, one-on-one conversations, emails) are focused on internal issues (e.g., resolving disputes, securing resources, getting approvals) vs. external issues (e.g., winning orders, satisfying customers, working with partners)?

5% or less on internal issues 40%
i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 9. What percentage of employees in your organization have the authority to spend $1,000 or more of your company’s money without needing prior sign-off from their boss or purchasing department?

* 10. How much control do you feel you have over your work environment? For instance, setting priorities, defining work methods, structuring tasks, making tradeoffs, etc.

* 11. What percentage of employees have access to detailed performance data (e.g., financial, operational, customer) for their unit and other units in the organization?

5% or less have access 40%
i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 12. In your organization, how common is it for individuals to dissent and challenge their leaders?

* 13. When it comes to your organization’s values, how closely does the reality match the rhetoric?

* 14. Think of your department or business—what percentage of its budget (CAPEX/OPEX) is devoted to what you would regard as truly innovative projects?

* 15. Roughly, what percentage of your time is devoted to innovating vs. short-term priorities?

* 16. In general, how easy is it for a regular employee to get a new project off the ground in your organization (i.e., one that requires a small team and some seed funding)?

* 17. What percentage of employees would regard innovation (e.g., in product, process, work methods) as part of their job?

5% or less 40%
i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

* 18. As you think about the major change programs that have been launched in your organization in recent years, do they seem to be focused on “creating the future” or “catching up?”

* 19. To what extent do you believe the beliefs, biases, and loyalties of the top team are a barrier to proactive change in your organization?

* 20. In your view, to what extent does bureaucratic wrangling  distort decisions, divert energy from value creating activities, and/or create negative energy? (Bureaucratic wrangling includes blameshifting, resource hoarding, managing up, internal haggling, defending turf, and power politics)

* 21. Over the last few years, do you feel your organization has become more bureaucratic (e.g., more rules and mandates, less autonomy) or less so?

* 22. To what extent do you believe each of the following factors constitutes a barrier (either real or perceived) to reducing bureaucracy within your organization?

  Not a barrier Somewhat of a barrier A large barrier
Bureaucracy is familiar—most people can’t imagine an alternative
The people who have power in my organization don’t want to give it up
Front line employees don’t have the information and/or skills to be more autonomous
With less bureaucracy, it would be harder to maintain adequate control
The complexity of business makes bureaucracy inevitable

* 23. How many employees work in your organization?

* 24. Which of the following most closely resembles your job title in the organization? (please choose the closest match)

* 25. What industry are you in? (please choose the closest match)

* 26. Which of the following best describe your job function?

* 27. If you could do one thing to reduce bureaucracy in your organization, what would it be? (140 characters max.)

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