Thursday, 19 January 2012

Who Takes Responsibility?

Recently there has been a focus on the idea of 'Joint Enterprise' particularly when associated with criminal convictions for violent crimes but it's a concept every shrewd business person needs to be aware of.

So what do I mean by 'Joint Enterprise'? It's more than shared responsibility, and it's far more than a post disaster blame storm; it's the concept that product development, public relations, marketing, advertising, sales strategy and everything in between is everyone's responsibility success or failure. 

Take my time with the BBC for example, I saw a number of programme strands that were flawed in thier original concept and under performed in their on air state. I may have had no responsibility for the idea or even be involved in the production, but like the gang member who doesn't call the police I stood by and watched it happen (OK sometimes it was for personal gain, for 'shits and giggles' and probably so that I could enjoy the warm glow of schadenfreude but I can admit that now). 

Is there too much fear in sticking your nose in? Is there a feeling that once a project gets to a certain point then questioning is seen as unhelpful? Do we just want an easy life?

There's been a lot written about the treatment of whistleblowers in the NHS and how staff are afraid to step up and question practice or policy; an enlightened organisation should welcome honest in put from any member of staff. If that person has an area of concern, expertise, or a perspective that's not being taken into account as a stakeholder then it's part of the collective responsibility to listen and it's part of the concept of 'Joint Enterprise' for that person to step up. It's their organisation too...

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