Re: Back in the mid-1990s. . . .
"The first step of this should be understanding why those rules are needed and why they apply to themselves* as much as everyone else."
I agree with your post - fair comment on mine - except for one thing. It is the job of people at the top of the organisation to know when to break the rules, or to introduce new ones. That's what they are paid for. As a one time technical director, it was part of my job to assess the risk of doing something outside the system and decide whether or not to go ahead. Otherwise, what do you need senior management for?
But that assumes you are equipped to know what the rules are and why they exist. Under what circumstances would you enter a clean room (or tell someone else to) without full kit? Would you go ahead with a potentially very profitable contract which involves untried new technology? Would you buy a new machine from untried vendor A who can deliver in 3 months or vendor B who is fully certified but will take a year? Will you break the pay scale to retain a scientist who may be on the verge of a breakthrough but may not?