Hierarchy or Responsibility

The Shift from Authority to Accountability in Modern Organizations

Traditional organizations are based on the supremacy of authority, while information-based organizations rely on responsibility. Modern information technology-driven organizations need to consider who needs information, what kind, when, and where. Management positions and levels focused solely on informing rather than executing can be eliminated. An information-technical organization requires self-discipline and upward accountability from all, starting with first-level managers to top executives. Traditional organizations are based on the supremacy of authority; information-technical organizations are based on responsibility that flows from the bottom up and then back down. Therefore, an information-based system can function provided that every employee and unit is accountable for their goals and priorities, relationships, and communications. This, in turn, fosters quick decision-making and feedback. Such advantages are possible only with mutual understanding, shared values, and, above all, mutual respect. Just as a common language must be used for each orchestra musician to understand the score, an IT organization that is united only by financial management risks collapse, like the Tower of Babel. TIP OF THE DAY Does your organization unite through financial management or mutual understanding, shared values, and mutual respect? Take responsibility for the goals, relationships, and communications both personally and within your unit.

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