O'Reilly logo

The New How by Nilofer Merchant

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 7. Phase IV: Take

Some favorite expressions of small children:

“It’s not my fault... They made me do it... I forgot.”

Some favorite expressions of adults:

“It’s not my job... No one told me... It couldn’t be helped.”

True freedom begins and ends with personal accountability.

Dan Zadra

Eliminate Gaps by Owning Outcome

Remember in the introduction, when I told the story of my part in a huge strategy debacle? The CEO’s new vision had given us the direction to move from a single-product to a multi-product company. It was a big change. Strike that: it was a huge change.

I had questions about how the different organizations and teams would line up to ultimately deliver, but I kept quiet. I thought then that “someone else” had it under control, and I wasn’t the only one who had questions. But everyone charged forward without knowing who owned what, or which interdependent parts had to be strongly connected. Each of us, and the leadership involved, delivered on the parts we individually owned. We did what was on paper as our job description or area of responsibility. The executive team had done what it needed to do at the top of the Air Sandwich, and the doers at the bottom kept on doing. The sandwich was becoming super-sized!

The problem was, we lacked the responsibility for determining how to achieve success across the organization rather than only for our individual components. In effect, we were looking at the middle of that Air Sandwich, and each of us was thinking, “This is not ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required