Who's Job Is It Anyway?

Bryan deSilva — Feb 2010

That wasn't my jobOne of the most dangerous comments I hear when analyzing an organization is, "that's not our job". Of course it's one of the most common threads of thought isn't it? What are we really saying with that oft used phrase? 

  1. I don't know how to answer so it isn't my job? (and thus I don't care!)

  2. I've tried to help 'those people' before and it's just gotten me burned.

  3. We have enough on our plate and can't consider anything that's not part of our mandate.

  4. That's not part of my bonus program. Why would I help them?

You get the idea.

I agree that it's most important to take care of our direct responsibilities, however isn't the success of ones organization part of that list? I see it like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People quadrant system. The two things we look at are 1) is it important? and 2) is it urgent? The urgent stuff is our own personal list of responsibilities and the important stuff is how these responsibilities tie into the greater good. 

The processes that travel 'over the wall' to another department are some of the most important processes in the organization. Ever hear of organizations that are full of silos? Ever deal with one? You might think you are dealing with brilliance until you need something just outside their purview. One can't even talk directly to the appropriate person because he's not part of your team.

So, how do you work?

If you are in Benefits and your know that the work that you do affects Payroll, do you care and validate that the changes you make end up paying the employee as you expect and according to the Benefits policies?

If your job is Systems Administrator for Kronos Timekeeper and the Connect developer needs some access setup on the server, does he have to ask his manager to ask your manager to get it done?


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