Wait times, grumpy visitors, and red tape permeate the atmosphere of the average Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It’s so easy to make small mistakes within the dynamic processes and procedures of each state’s robust bureaucracy. Each small slip tends to yield large inconveniences for customers, and the customer tends to lose every time.

When a customer asks to speak to a supervisor about a concern, (s)he is usually met with more red tape: the nature of bureaucracy is to have more layers of supervision than necessary, with each layer being more difficult to access than the last. That runs according to Parkinson’s Law.

In the case of California, at least the state’s Chief of DMV has agreed to cut through the layers of supervision and respond directly to at least one case of systemic incompetence. It probably took this person four minutes of her not-so-busy day to take care of this individual, and the result: renewed public hope in the status of DMVs state-wide (“California DMV Chief Calls Driver Frustrated By Red Tape“).

As of today, positive organizational leadership like this is such a surprise that it prompts celebratory news stories. Our intent at Rip Red Tape is to facilitate discussions so that positive organizational culture is normal throughout the public and private sectors in customer service, employee engagement, and corporate culture…from bottom to middle to top.


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