Quite a lot of clichés are brandied about in the business and corporate worlds, one of which perhaps transcends business and is misapplied in just about every area of life, but it’s annoying how many people constantly spew the mantra that rules are meant to be broken. I say it’s misapplied because it definitely has its place, but like a lot of other ideas or beliefs in life, context is important.
So first let’s talk about those scenarios in which the cliché of rules being meant to be broken is applicable. Of course the world of business and entrepreneurship comes into focus and rules are indeed made to be broken in the broader, external sense. What I mean by this is that in order for you to get ahead in the world of business, you simply need to do a lot of things differently. This can definitely be said to breaking the rules, but only in the figurative sense.
For example, who made the rule that a business meeting should play out between two parties who are to prospectively do business with each other wearing formal attire? Who says you have to seek investors with the view of taking your tech start-up to the stock exchange with an IPO, for example?
Who says you have to conduct your business dealings in a certain way, according the text books MBA students study for their exams?
Those are the rules which are meant to be broken in the business world – external rules of engagement…
The rules that are NOT meant to be broken in the business world are internal rules which are in place to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the manner in which a business is operated. For example, if everybody needs to put in a certain amount of hours of work, regardless of when they clock-in and clock-out, then that’s a rule which should never be broken.
If there’s a specific time set aside for something like a weekly general meeting and all employees are supposed to attend, that’s another example of an internal operational rule that’s simply not meant to be broken.
Those of us who work in the administrative side of things (HR) perhaps know all about the rules which are never meant to be broken because from our point of view the smooth operation of the entire company you work for hinges on specific rules which are to be followed to the tee! Top management makes certain decisions based on certain elements which need to be in place, for example and nothing irks me more personally than having to nag someone about that report they promised to have to me by COB when they know full well that they have no intention of honouring their word.
I guess it’s ultimately about leading by example, as has come to be revealed by some of the most competent and busiest train accident lawyers our company has had the pleasure of collaborating with. Apparently there are so many cases in which the officials who are meant to enforce safety laws around train stations and railway facilities themselves break those safety laws and that’s how many clients who are represented by these lawyers go on to win their cases.