Beware of “Somebody-itis”
A dangerous and contagious disease in any company! Do you find yourself assigning tasks and responsibilities to this invisible ghost, only to find that nothing gets done? Read on…
The RACI Matrix is one of the most underrated concepts when managing teams. Of course, there are always piles of work to be done across multiple people, but who exactly is Responsible? Accountable? Consulted? Informed?
Lack of clarity can be a killer. This is where “somebody-itis” rears its ugly head.
* “Somebody should take notes.”
* “Somebody should follow up with that client.”
* “Somebody should address this emergency.”
And the all-time favorite of ambiguity.
“Somebody should do something.”
BUT! Like /The Tragedy of the Commons/, “somebody” often means “nobody,” and no things get done.
The key to curing somebody-itis is never letting the conversation end without naming a specific somebody.
* “Who (specifically) will take the notes?”
* “Who (exactly) will follow up with the client?”
* “Who needs to drop everything and deal with this emergency?”
And regarding someone doing something, let’s define what that something is, not in abstract terms, but in clear, concrete terms.
Left uncured, somebody-itis is a killer.
You lose clients. You lose colleagues. People are frustrated, but they can only point fingers at some abstract “somebody.”