As a veteran bureacrat and “hierarchy setter-upper”, I absolutely love this excerpt from How Hierarchies Kill Creativity:
For all their efficiencies, hierarchies turn out to be remarkably inefficient when organizations are trying to leverage creative ideas and increase their innovation.
The problem is that the chain of command works well for issuing orders and making decisions. It works so well that creative ideas stand little chance of being utilized unless they’re being shared from the top downward. Creative ideas that come from the middle or lower levels of a hierarchy have to work their way up through a series of managers, each with the power to veto but each lacking the power to implement.
Supervisors often reject innovative ideas because the individuals who developed theses ideas understand the novelty and applicability of them better than supervisors.
As an idea moves through the different levels, the likelihood of rejection increases, since those managers are further from the domain the idea applies to and less likely to understand its true value in that domain. This turns a chain of command into what Vanderbilt professor Dave Owens calls a “hierarchy of no.”