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Master the Art of Business

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This is a preview of a key idea from The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. Order your copy now...

Bystander Apathy

“Accountability is about one person taking responsibility. If two people are accountable for the same decision, no one is really accountable.” — Glyn Holton, investment risk management consultant

Key Ideas:

  • Bystander Apathy is an inverse relationship between the number of people who could take action and the number of people who actually choose to act.
  • Bystander Apathy explains why groups like committees never get anything done: everyone assumes someone else will step up.
  • The best way to eliminate Bystander Apathy in project management is to have clearly defined tasks for each individual.

Questions for Consideration:

  • Does each task have an individual owner?
  • Is it absolutely clear who’s responsible for what, and when it needs to be done?

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