This post is a follow up to a Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter post that I published a few days ago. While reading an article in the July/August 2016 edition of INC Magazine entitled “Taming the Beast” (http://on.inc.com/28Sr8x4) by Leigh Buchanan, I was astounded by some of the examples of well-intended silliness mentioned. In addition, I appreciated that the article didn’t simply state the challenge without offering some suggested solutions.
The first example of regulatory over-burden involved a relatively small craft winery in Brooklyn, NY. The CEO, Brian Leventhal fills out monthly reports to each and every state his company ships, or has shipped product to. The information requested on the reports vary by state, but generally includes the name and address of each purchaser of their wine. Furthermore, he must file reports to states even if he had no shipments during the previous month to customers within that state. Mr. Leventhal is quoted in the article saying “it looks like [rules governing the wine industry] exist only because someone made them up that way 80 years ago.”
The article goes on to site some statistics about the proliferation of regulations; 3,400 federal regulations in 2015, 545 with direct effect on small business, for example. In a survey about regulation conducted by Paychex, 39 percent responded that over-regulation dissuaded them from entering a new market, 36 percent from introducing a new product, and 25 percent did not start new business ventures into a new kind of business. Further, that survey found that 65 percent of the respondents reported that regulations hurt their profitability or their opportunities to grow.
Philip K. Howard, founder of Common Good, a non-profit with the mission of applying common sense toward reducing government bureaucracy is quoted as saying “America is run by dead people. The people who wrote these rules are dead, so you can’t argue with them or hold them accountable.” Regulations are like plastic bags or embarrassing social media posts: once they are out, you can’t get rid of them.
I invite you to respond to this blog with a list of the top few regulations that hurt your industry or company. You might highlight your number one target for elimination or revision. I also invite any suggestions about regulations that should remain, with or without revisions.
Finally, if me or my colleagues at ActionCOACH can assist you with overcoming your regulatory constraints, please contact us to learn what is possible to keep you ahead of your competition.