Responsibility and Authority

Seth Godin has a really interesting short post today on the changing emphasis in today's economy from Authority structures to the assuming of responsibilities to make things happen.  Organisations should take note of this shift – its repercussions cannot be overstated:

Achievers in traditional organizations often say, "I want more authority." They mean that they want the power to make things happen, the mantle of authority that will allow them to get things done.

This is an industrial-era mindset. Management by authority is top-down, risk-averse, measurable and perfect for the org chart. It's essential in organizations that are stable, asset-based and adverse to risk.

There's a different approach, though, one that's based on responsibility instead of authority. "Anyone who takes responsibility for getting something done is welcome to ask for the authority to do it."

 
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