Whose Job Is It?

See if you recognize this scenario…

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would  do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

The point of this confusing, but poignant story is simple: no one took responsibility so nothing got accomplished.

It’s a story that happens in organizations and companies and on teams—anywhere there is culture that lacks accountability.


Patrick Lencioni talks about building accountability best when he said, “teams (companies) that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards. What is more, they don’t rely on the team leader as the primary source of accountability, they go directly to their peers.”

Holding each other accountable is difficult, but the cost of not doing so is incredibly high. An avoidance of accountability leads to:
* unintentional lowering of standards and acceptance of mediocrity
* reduced performance, missed deadlines, and wasted time/effort
* strained relationships and weak teams

The good news is, if you’ve been building your company with a foundation of trust, holding each other accountable is accepted, even desired because it leads to greater growth and success.

One of the best ways to build accountability is to utilize a tool known as The Accountability Chart. If you are familiar with EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), this is a “go to” foundational tool. Most people are familiar with an organization chart so what is the difference in these tools?

Organizational Chart vs Accountability Chart

Organizational charts focus on who reports to who, but they typically don’t address one of the major issues most companies struggle with: a lack of clarity around what the major functions of the organization are, and who is accountable for what.

Accountability charts, on the other hand, focus on the structure of the organization. It provides clarity about who owns the major functions of an organization and identifies the primary roles and responsibilities for which they are accountable.

Remember, there should be only one person for all major responsibilities, and everyone should understand who owns what. After all, if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible.

New Paradigm Advisors believes you deserve to enjoy the benefits of a profitable, growing and well-run business. We help you create your accountability chart and break out of the old way of doing things and press forward with a renewed passion and focus. We’d love to hear from you.

Building an Environment of Structural Flexibility

Every organization needs to have some structure.  If, for nothing else, to allow for how things get done.  But the days of rigid structure in an organization are gone.

Particularly if you want to be able to not have the organization be too dependent on any one person.

Gee, sounds like a recipe for being able to break those chains and allow your enterprise to operate without you.  “You proofing” at its finest.

Where does one start? Well, if they want to create and then operate an organization that is an environment that allows for competent decisions as well as being flexible, then start with these attributes:

  • Allow it to be organic. That is, let decisions and decision-making come naturally to the leaders.  Don’t let the organization get in the way of the work.
  • Make sure it is flat. In other words, remove layers of management.  Without middle management, employees become more self-reliant and empowered. Too many layers slow down decision making.
  • Let it be part of a larger network. This means that if sometimes the work can be done outside the organization most efficiently, then let it.
  • Ensure that it coexists with your team. Besides, if your team is formulated to support your company, it should integrate symbiotically with your flexible, flat organization.

What this all boils down to is this: build a functional yet simple organizational structure then populate it with an empowered team.

It will free up the leaders/founders/principals to either work on the company, plot its future or depart. Freedom first, then value, and, finally, future.

Call or contact us should you want to explore this topic further.