One day at an agency I used to work at, an art director brought in his dog for the afternoon. He had to go to a client meeting, so he asked everyone on the ground floor to keep their eye on her while he was out. Sure enough, he came back to discover that his dog had escaped out the back door into busy downtown streets. A missing poster was made, tears shed, fingers pointed, and a search team organized. Luckily, the dog was soon found. An account director summed it all up as so: “When something is everyone’s responsibility, it is no one’s responsibility.” Had the art director asked one co-worker to dog-sit, the dog wouldn’t have likely escaped.
More and more, we see silos at agencies disintegrating and tasks falling into many people’s hands. Everyone is responsible for contributing to the agency blog. Everyone is responsible for staying informed about social media. Everyone is responsible for keeping the office kitchen tidy. And I think these responsibilities should be company-wide: it keeps employees engaged, makes the agency stronger and more cohesive, keeps knowledge shared, and invites multiple perspectives.
But how do you keep everyone accountable?