The esprit throughout NASA was tremendous... Bureaucratic lines no longer meant anything. Anyone in Project Mercury could immediately get to see anybody else about any problem that came up.
From Beyond Culture
By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory, and no mind.
From Jerry Weinberg (in person)
Bureaucracy can be measured by how much people don't know why they're doing what they're doing.
From Good to Great
The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline. Avoid bureaucracy and instead create a culture of discipline.
From It's Your Ship
More often than not, bureaucracies create rules and then forget why they were needed in the first place, or fail to see that the reasons for them no longer exist.
From Quality Software Management: Vol 2. First Order Measurement
Bureaucracy is each thing in control, but everything is out of control.
From John Boyd - the fighter pilot who changed the art of war
Anything new and different is feared by a bureaucracy.
From A Little Book of f-Laws
A bureaucrat is one who has the power to say 'no' but none to say 'yes'.
From Beating the System
Bureaucrats are usually empowered to say no to even reasonable requests, but they cannot say yes to them. This requires passing requests to a higher authority. Saying no inflates bureaucrats' self-images.
From the Mind of War
he was always testing the limits - of airplanes, people, science, the military, and, most especially, bureaucracies.
From Ackoff's Best
The most variety-decreasing type of social system is one we call a bureaucracy.
If you're going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't. [Admiral Hyman G. Rickover]
From Are Your Lights On?
Bureauracies always begin with some process of selection - a process which is never quite "natural" selection.
From Quality Software Management: Vol 2. First order measurement
Bureaucracy: people doing things whose purpose they don't understand.
From the DevOps Handbook
Bureaucracies are incredibly resilient and are designed to survive adverse conditions - one can remove half the bureaucrats, and the process will still survive.