Unspeakable practices come in two varieties:
- They’re subtle and dependent on the situation: the kind of art or craft that’s learned through observation and practice, giving the apprentice a “feel” for the work.
- They cut against the grain of officialdom. Read that as too many cumbersome rules. Technicians, for instance, often solve problems “any way they can.” They share methods informally. You’ll hear things like: “You’re supposed to get six signatures, but if you need it right away, Joe can take care of it.”
Lesson: Simple human networks create efficient processes.
—Adapted from In Good Company, Don Cohen and Laurence Prusak, Harvard Business School Press.