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“To complete your application we need forms A and B. We only handle form A here. For form B you need to talk to the other department on the next floor.”
Bureaucracy is the result of an organization being designed from an internal efficiency perspective. Government agencies are especially prone to bureaucracy since customers don’t have the option of taking their business elsewhere.
For-profit companies have preached about being customer centered for ages. What does that mean in practice? What does a customer centered company look and feel like?
A customer centered organization is as transparent and unobtrusive as possible. The company’s internal structure and policies are indiscernible to the customer. Things just magically happen. What the customer wants and how he or she wants it is the key design element for the organization.
Handling form A and B can be centralized to one department. Forms can be digitized. Yet the ultimate goal is this: There is no form to fill out, but the customer still gets what he or she wants.