Before I became Bureaucrates, Goddess of Bureaucracy, I was an alcolyte of Mediocrates, God of Mediocrity. Okay, I was actually a middle school kid studying Greek mythology in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in the 1980s, when the school district went on a tear about Achieving Excellence. Thus was Mediocrates born. His name is pronounced MEE-dee-o-crayts, of course.
Now I see that FedBlog is mocking the cult of Mediocrates. Well, call me cynical, but I think most large organizations – public and private – are better at thwarting the bad than they are at helping the good. To operate successfully in a large organization and even (ugh) Achieve Excellence, you have to recognize that your betters are more interested in preventing embarassment and failure than they are in advancing a great new idea. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, as I tell the unhappy colleagues who use my office as their confessional, but you do need to address their concerns to their satisfaction.