Last November in my Risk e-Views newsletter I wrote about a book entitled Administrative Behaviour by Herbert A. Simon. In a nutshell, Simon describes the basis of an organisation as:
• A well-defined purpose communicated to staff and other stakeholders.
• A series of decisions that affect actions.
• Policies, processes and systems to influence the decisions.
So, I recognise policies are inherently important for guiding the decision-making within your organisation, however, policies and their abundance have always been a vexed issue for me. In an ideal world all of your people know everything you could possibly write in a policy through osmosis. The reality is, there is a never-ending challenge to get the balance right between a policy void (low control) and policy mania (high control).
I found this paper entitled The Definitive Guide to Policy Management from Navex Global to be thought provoking and comprehensive. Remember when reading it, however, it is a US based company with the US its biggest market which means that with the level of laws, regulation and litigation in the US, large organisations in that market have a different level of challenge to most Australian companies.