Rules and exceptions

I posted about a proposal to improve government systems a few days ago. I received notes from a couple of folks in response either empathizing or reminding me that government systems are bad as a rule because we don’t have any options.

I also posted about the first rule of giving good advice yesterday – don’t give advice unless it is asked. Two moms wrote in wondering/suggesting if moms should be an exception. :-)

All of these notes are valid.

As a rule, government systems suck. But, there are plenty of exceptions. We’ve all experienced them. California DMVs, for example, are known for poor service. And, yet, there’s a DMV close by which is outstanding. Similarly, the government of Singapore could compete with any high performing corporation in its ability to manage processes.

As a rule, it is helpful to not give advice unless it is asked. A lot of time and energy is wasted in doing so. But, there are times when the rules don’t apply. People sometimes need to hear what they don’t want to hear.

Every rule has exceptions. Those exceptions often prove the rule.

And, perhaps most interestingly, the opposite of a good idea is often a good idea.