People are imperfect. Rules always have exceptions. When an exception is identified, people create a new rule for the exception. And for the exceptions that spurs. And on and on until we are awash with rules.
Life is filled with exceptions. Therefore, when people are presented with a new rule, they quickly spout all the ways in which that rule doesn’t make sense to them. We immediately see the exceptions.
This leads people to discount the need for strict rules. When confronted with a strict rule, people ask two questions: (1) How long do I have to do this? and (2) How can I avoid doing this?
When we are building a corporate culture, an on-line community, or setting up any group of people, we need to understand the positive and negative roles that rules play.
Photo of Spiral Stairwell at the Vatican by Christopher Chan