“The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. If you’re not an idiot, but find yourself in the Navy, you can only operate well by pretending to be one.” -Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny
The worst arguments I’ve ever had were with people who weren’t willing to bend on policy in situations where the policy made no sense. Context is everything, and most policy is made for a situation that has likely come and gone.
People with judgment will recognize this, especially in the context of running startups. Hopefully, they were the same person that made the original policy, and can see that things have changed. Smart companies have fewer policies, implicitly trusting their teams to make the right decision.
The takeaway here is that you can judge organizations and people based on how beholden they are to policy. Smart ones let you make smart decisions.