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Leading for Innovation: And Organizing for Results by Iain Somerville, Marshall Goldsmith, Frances Hesselbein

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21.4. Accountability Systems

Lack of accountability can be a problem in any large organization, but it is the hallmark of police departments. In most departments, the chain of command doesn't enforce accountability. Passing the buck is refined to an art form. Perhaps believing that they are delegating authority, police managers hand off problems with dexterity to the next level of supervision. A problem will march right down the chain of command from chief to inspector to captain to sergeant and finally to the cop who has to try to solve it in the streets. Blame moves in the same direction. People don't want to take responsibility because the organization has no track record for rewarding people who do. Taking responsibility only gets you into ...

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