The $3 Trillion Prize for Busting Bureaucracy

(and how to claim it)

Around the world, productivity growth has stalled out. While some hope that a “second machine age” will reverse the slump, we think that wringing bureaucracy out of the economy offers a more promising and less speculative route to boosting productivity.  By our calculations, busting bureaucracy would add $3 trillion to economic growth in the US alone.  Dismantling bureaucracy won’t be easy, but it has to happen—bureaucracy must die. The $3 Trillion Prize provides a detailed blueprint for abolishing the bureaucracy tax in your organization, and everywhere else.


The $3 Trillion Prize

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Neil Tambe's picture
June 12, 2016
For most of my adult life, I've been thinking about how to replace bureaucracy as the default OS, so to speak, in the vast majority of organizational contexts. I applaud your framing in the $3 Trillion Prize. Two thoughts: 1. In addition to the economic argument, you alluded to the moral one. I'd add that there's also political argument to be made because improved productivity can mean more jobs, depending on how the gains are reinvested. Moreover, I'd hypothesize that corporate leaders are probably the least likely to care about doing something about bureaucracy - employees who are oppressed by toxic work environments and political actors desperate to create jobs are probably more likely to become full-throated advocates in the fight against bureaucracy. Managers, as you point out, have a lot to lose if the status quo changes. 2. To the point above, It's absolutely essential to come up with a way to assess how gains from reforming bureaucracy are reinvested. Those gains have to go somewhere, no? The US economy looks very different, depending on whether those gains are captured by customers, employees, investors, or executives. Again, great post!
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March 10, 2020
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An invitation to management renegades . . .

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