Hootsuite has a “Czar of Bad Systems”

In his recent Fast Company article, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes recounts the story of his employee Noel, a man on a mission to mail someone a shirt.

See, earlier this year, Noel wanted to send a custom T-shirt as a gift — nothing flashy, just a good ol’ cotton crew neck (probably a Hanes Beefy if we had to guess).

But, by the time Noel had gone through all the approvals, this lone tee had cost the organization about $200 in lost time. Was it worth it Noel? Was it?

No(el), it wasn’t

He’d played by the rules and gotten his shirt, but now Noel was pissed, and he wasn’t about to go down without a fight.

He ended up tracking down people in both the finance and marketing departments and convincing them to toss out the old rule, in favor of a more relaxed shirt policy, and all was well with the world again.

But the whole thing got Holmes’ wondering: “How much time and money [are] being tied up in other bad and broken processes?” And so he created Hootsuite’s unofficial “Czar of Bad Systems” role.

Because good processes are good…

But bad processes are worse. Since taking the throne, Czar Noel has been given license to work with multiple departments and cut the proverbial “red tape” that is often cursed but rarely challenged.

Frustrated employees can reach out to him on the Facebook group, “Bad Systems @ Hootsuite,” where he can follow up with them in person and figure out how to break the status quo…

Just like Shopify did a year earlier

The ecommerce platform appointed Adrian Cho their “Director of Getting Sh*t Done” in 2015, following their IPO. He’s now managing a team in charge of speeding decisions and scaling programs efficiently.

So in other words, Hootsuite’s not the first to appoint a process Czar, and, for companies that actually care about their operating margins (shocking, we know), they won’t be the last.

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