The Challenge of Accountability in Orgs


I’m reading this interesting book, CEO Society: The Corporate Takeover of Everyday Life, that I came by through a friend’s repost.

The post has a very interesting point of view, and I love this bit:

 “…we just wanted to pretend that someone was in control, even if all the facts and evidence were telling us that this wasn’t the case.”

And maybe there’s also a related issue of accountability:

It’s just so much easier, operationally, organizationally, and culturally, to fix the accountability to a single person like CEO, rather than to induce a complex fight/negotiation of assigning and orchestrating collective accountability. When things go bananas, stakeholders can easily rely on that simple N:1 relation to better serve self-interest and survive.

Bottom up, no one wants to design a 1:N or N:N accountability structure – N:1 is just safer and easier. Top down, no one wants to do anything other than 1:1 via stratification and hierarchy.

Contrary to how the nature or cultural movement does, in orgs we avoid artificial stigmergy at all cost.


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