I know that there are some that think that a culture of compliance is a good thing, some that even believe it is the most important thing.  Up to a point, it is important.  Up to a point, compliance can be useful, since it can help to keep standards high, and can help with consistency.  CAN. Compliance in this case is a bandage for problems with something like standards, and/or a problem with consistency.  The problem isn't compliance, the problem is standards and consistency (in this case.)  You may help to correct this problem with something like training.  Compliance tracks the training. Compliance isn't the problem, nor is it the answer. In organizations that spout terms like innovation, I've found compliance to be a huge roadblock.  An organization may talk about innovation, but they double their efforts to ensure compliance.  This sends a message to employees that they value compliance over innovation and inspiration.  That wearing the right clothes, coming and going exactly on time, and having the right email signature (as examples) is more important than having passion, finding inspiration, and doing truly great work. People's beliefs within any organization are manifested as it's culture.  If an organization is stale, and finding it hard to innovate, then the beliefs of the people working for that organization don't reflect passion or innovation.  At this point, compliance has effectively killed innovation.  How can employees, and really people in general, be expected to innovate, when they don't feel passionate about their work?  Because their job has become to keep their job. Compliance doesn't speak to taking risks, and failing often to find success.  It speaks to keeping things they way they are, and keeping things on track. Individuals must be empowered to think differently.  Even in a culture of compliance, individuals must be able to reach above that.  Individuals need to be fed great ideas.  In a culture of compliance, it takes effort to ensure that individuals know that they are important, that they are capable of greatness, and that it's even expected of them.  It takes effort to reach past compliance. It wasn't until I realized this that I was able to let go of what I felt was holding me down, holding me back.  I have my own goals and plans now that I am following through on.  My own efforts, and my own intentions.  I'm working with teams to instill this value in them, and growing it beyond these teams into communities. Organizations can claim that their processes and technology is what makes them great, but what makes them great is the people who work within them.  Empowering these people to do their best work, to be passionate, to feel inspired, and to be brave, is what makes an organization great.  Changing people's beliefs about themselves in a positive way is more important than compliance.  This is what sets great organizations apart.

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