Accountability & resp. LO5923

Rol Fessenden (
29 Feb 96 22:19:59 EST

Replying to LO5859 --

Bob Williams says, "Staff in her organisation are still wanting to
identify where the buck stops and starts in a fairly traditional sense. To
date the organisation has been unable to resolve that issue. Most
individuals within the organisation are unable to differentiate between
the complex and the confusing, or work out how to bring about the
transition from "you" and "me" to "you, me and us". Incidentally this
organisation has a long history of team based work, with both positive and
negative experiences."

My opinion would be to go with the flow on this for the time being. These
peoplle still do not understand how to take personal responsibility. They
need work assigned, at least apparently.

In this environment, swimming against the flow will not only be difficult,
you will run the risk of appearing to be directive rather than
collaborative. "You people go work on this together." Very hard to
overcome quickly.

On the other hand, over time, these attitudes can and may change. It is a
question of facilitating change among individuals one by one rather than
en masse. To help that change, you have to be on the lookout for
opportunities to get a group to take on a project, beginning with setting
the standards for success. Let them work it through, and see what

Then use that -- whether success or failure -- as a learning tool.
Dissect it non-judgementally with the whole group. Bring out fears,
competition, anxiety, and so forth, if they can be that open. Start to
build a learning environment around this goal of collaborative group work.
See if you can get the group to reflect on why a particular group task
worked or did not work. What would they do differently? Is there another
task they could practice their new hypotheses on?

Good luck.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean

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