CEO Names Employee 'Czar of Bad Systems' to Fix What Sucks About His Company

Published On 03/14/2017 Published On 03/14/2017

No company on the planet runs with clockwork efficiency. But social media management company Hootsuite is doing something about it, appointing someone to an interesting new role -- Czar of Bad Systems -- its CEO, Ryan Holmes, explains in a Fast Company piece.

"Good systems make things easier," Holmes writes. "Bad systems do exactly the opposite." When he learned that ordering a T-shirt with the company logo on it for a customer could cost as much as $200 of company time (because remember, time is money), he decided that something needed to be done:

[The shirt] example might sound trivial until you start to do the math. In a company of 1,000 people, we’re talking about hundreds of employee hours saved over a year’s time–just on ordering swag. Once I realized that, the gears started turning: How much time and money were being tied up in other bad and broken processes–simple stuff that was eminently fixable, but that no one was looking into?

Thus, Holmes created the (as-yet-unofficial) "Czar of Bad Systems" and Noel Pullen, the senior director of technology who had ordered the shirt in the first place, volunteered for the gig straightaway, on top of his other duties. Holmes compares the role to those of ombudsmen or Shopify's Director of Getting Shit Done, and writes that he's given Pullen the authority to sit down across teams and make decisions. It's not exactly a new concept that workplaces should be reassessed with a fresh perspective from time to time. Here's to wishing Pullen the best of luck in his new role improving Hootsuite's systems.

Eric Vilas-Boas is a writer and editor at Thrillist. Follow him @e_vb_.



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