The more companies I work with the more it becomes apparent that members of staff realise that they are being asked to do wasteful things by their senior managers. They just don’t challenge back. (They are however very adept at bitching about the situation amongst themselves).
Managers don’t ask for these wasteful things out of spite, why would they? They just don’t understand the implications of what they are asking for.
Consequently there are two ways to stop this from happening:
1. Empower your teams to tell managers what they think about the work they have been asked to do.
2. Get the managers to do the work so that they understand the implications of what they are asking for.
Neither of these are radically new thoughts, they are just applied very sporadically. Does it happen in your organisation?