Over 500,000 people visited Farnam Street last month to expand their knowledge and improve their thinking. Work smarter, not harder with our free weekly newsletter that's full of time-tested knowledge you can add to your mental toolbox.

Vagueness Undermines Accountability

Opinions and organization theory has generated quite a bit of feedback.

If you recall, one of the points of that post is that decisions are often made by everyone, meaning no one is accountable.

Those in power often facilitate this. Each time they tell someone “the committee,” or “executive” decided something poorly they're masking personal accountability. (At this point a critical reader should have a host of questions: Who on “the committee?” Was it unanimous? What did the argument swing around? Should this have been know at the time? … )

And thus the inertia continues. That same poor decision will be made again, perhaps by the same person. We learn nothing.

Vagueness undermines personal accountability. This is a sign of a dysfunctional and bureaucratic culture.