“Who Must Do What?”

| February 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

question_game_pieces[1]The final question that needs to be answered in developing a leadership team Playbook, as defined by Patrick Lencioni, is “Who Must Do What?” How often have we walked out of a meeting without clarifying who was going to be responsible that great idea? The following meeting is then filled with mild accusations of, “I thought Finance was going to take care of that.” “I assumed we all understood HR was responsible to get things started.” Another week has gone by and we have not moved the needle even one decimal point.

Responsibilities must be clearly assigned. Assumptions should not be made that an item is HR’s, Finance’s or Operation’s. The following are several suggestions on how a leadership team can more effectively answer the question, “Who Must Do What?”

“I didn’t know you did that!” Take the time for each member of the leadership team to bullet-list what they do. Share the lists with the team. What is missing? Are there over-laps? We become so caught up in the day-to-day onslaught of priorities within our own areas that we lose sight of what members of Team One are managing. (Remember, the leadership team is Team One for every member. Not their department.)

Break down those silos! Clarifying who does what, especially with thematic goals and project based initiatives, is an excellent opportunity to break down organizational silos. Where ever possible, assign two leadership team members to take responsibility for specific goals or actions. Having several leadership team members working together will not go unnoticed by their respective departments. More than likely, members of those departments will also find themselves working together in support of their department head’s responsibility. Here is one reminder on this topic. T he entire leadership team is accountable for the attainment of a Thematic Goal. Responsibilities must be assigned for various tasks, action items and deliverables. That is how work gets done!

The discipline of the RASIC tool is worth the time. Those who have worked with me on projects know that I will often use the RASIC model. I find it very usefully in keeping multiple plates spinning. There are a number of variations of the tool, which is portrayed as a graph. See below. When assignments are made, roles are immediately determined. The question of who does what becomes clearly defined.

Responsible (R): Owns the problem/project
Approve (A):  Accountable, must sign off on work before it is initiated
Supports (S):  Provides resources or can play a supporting role in implementation
Informed (I):  Notified of results, but need not be consulted
Consulted (C):  Has information and/or capability necessary to complete the work


Susan Gerry Alice Joe Sam

Develop communications plan



I hope you have enjoyed this series on the Playbook. It is a powerful tool. I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Patrick Lencioni for providing leaders with the six questions they must answer. As we all know the right questions are the most important questions.  Take care,


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Category: Accountability, Decision Making, Leadership, Newsletters


About the Author ()

Julia Hill-Nichols, SPHR, is the founder of LeadersCove, LLC. With over 30 years experience in operations and human capital management, Julia is gifted in the art and science of bridging strategic imperatives and a company’s human capabilities—executing for success, meeting bottom-line objectives and enlivening the people who are the organization’s lifeblood.

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