If you follow Rule 1, and recruit super-catalysts – based on their personalities and ability to transform relationships – then it makes no sense to control every detail of the way they do their job. The rhetoric of
empowered employees scorns the very idea. But we all know that is exactly what happens to most employees, especially in our public services. Take one energetic offi cial chosen at random from the public sector in the UK, Richard Elliott, a former member of the Bristol drugs action team. As such, he had to keep his eyes on 44 different funding streams, nine different grids and 82 different objectives imposed on him by managers, funders and the government. Before he resigned, he reckoned that he and his colleagues spent less than 40 per cent of their time actually tackling drugs issues. But it is not so much the time constraints or the bureaucratic overload I am talking about here; it is the sheer complexity that constrained him.