The Kafka Brigade has been established to investigate bureaucratic bottlenecks that are far beyond comprehension. People often end up in situations where they need to deal with various lines of reasoning, rules and procedures at the same time. If these are conflicting it can have unpleasant consequences, like uncertainty, frustration, and even loss of money and time.
The main principles of the Kafka Brigade’s method are:
- The end user is pivotal;
- All parties concerned are included;
- Rules are necessary, but there might be more clever solutions;
- Working under the radar in a safe environment;
- No action without review, no review without action.
The Kafka Brigade’s starting point is always a practical case, in which someone – a citizen, entrepreneur or professional (the “end user”) – is tangled in a web of excessive bureaucracy. Together with the person or people involved the situation is analysed. Subsequently, the Kafka Brigade organises a collective “performance review” with the people and institutions concerned. During the discussion it is assessed where policies and/or the execution got stuck and how this can be improved. To secure the results, the commitment of managers is essential; they can make decisions and implement reformations.
The results of the case study are converted into in a specific action plan. Here, the Kafka Brigade describes the bottlenecks and solutions as pointed out by the participants of the “performance review”. If necessary, the Brigade adds recommendations for structural solutions and work method alterations; it spurs the process of structural improvement with highly practical actions. The Brigade assigns to the client the responsibility to follow the recommendations – i.e. perform the actions.
In most of the Kafka Brigade’s case analyses problems and solutions are found on three different levels:
- Information/communication: these are often problems that can be solved in short order and with minimal effort, like adjusting the information on a website;
- Execution: solutions on this level interfere with the culture and work methods of various organisations. It takes more time and commitment of the people involved to realise these solutions;
- Policy/rules: problems on this level need to be solved by a governmental resolution or amendment of laws or rules. Most of the solutions offered by the Kafka Brigade’s analyses are of the first two levels.
1 September 2010: Kafka Brigade independent company
The founding parties of the Kafka Brigade – Knowledgeland, Jorritdejong.nl and Zenc – decided that the time had come to make the Kafka Brigade fully independent. On September 1, 2010 the new Kafka Brigade launched. This also meant that Lobke van der Meulen left Knowledgeland after six years to become executive director of the Kafka Brigade. Knowledgeland is still partner of the Kafka Brigade. You can reach the Kafka Brigade at www.kafkabrigade.nl or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all other smart government matters, please contact Chris Sigaloff, email@example.com.