Thursday, July 10, 2008


Responsibility is a word which most of us use very commonly. This comes up mostly during the discussion on any new upcoming task or during a post-mortem of a task. So, have we ever wondered what is responsibility and what makes us being 'Responsible'.

Every action we make leads to consequences. It always leads to a Desirable and Undesirable outcome. Key to note here is that the very same outcome which we might think as desirable to one could be undesirable to another. For instance, helping a colleague on his work is desirable as well undesirable. It gets the work done quickly probably and saves time, which is desirable. On the other hand it prevents them from being creative or learning from mistakes (that is undesirable).

Without taking any more time, and being 'Responsible' person, let me get on with the point of Responsibility.

'It is to understand the desirable and the undesirable consequences of any of your actions before it is actually being done and decide whether it is appropriate to take such an action'

Meaning, understanding the positive and negative impacts of your actions and weighing them before we actually proceed with the action.

Do we understand the consequences every time before we act?? Well there is the point, most times especially in our work setting we tend to execute (Act) instructions from our boss. If it leads to mostly undesirable consequence, then who is responsible. Lets make it more interesting assuming my boss has just translated my Super boss instruction, now who is responsible for all the negative effects?

Super Boss? Boss? or ..... thank god we have this on the list 'You'/'Me'/'Us'.

Any Guess? If you have said any one of the above its not correct, it is actually all of the above.

Don't agree?, lets look at the scenario again. Before giving instruction, my Super boss made a decision to do so. Meaning he had a Yolk in front of him, to go left or right was the decision point. Lets assume in this case he decided to travel right and that was the decision. Now that came to the boss, again he has a Yolk to decide, again he took a right and it comes to you you also did a right in your Yolk, which led to Undesirable effect.

If any of them in the Action, have been responsible then they should have travelled up the Yolk and explained the impact to the superior and could have lead to corrective action. Since none of them did it led to the effect. Hence they all were not acting Responsible.

For any Organisation or Team to succeed quickly it needs to practise 'Collective' responsibility. Meaning every individual should understand the impact of action they take or part of and make sure the if any undesirable impact is foreseen the same is highlighted to higher up the Yolk and the same is corrected.

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