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3 Minute Skinny : How As Leaders We Can Avoid the Responsibility Virus and Build Resilience In Our Teams
A 3 minute skinny on "The responsibility Virus" by Roger Martin
"Building responsibility discipline is one of the most difficult challenges facing innovative organizations."
Roger Martin is one of the favorite authors of my good friend and sometime co-author, Michael Goitein. His raving about the book is why I read it.
The Responsibility Virus examines how successful companies can fall into the "responsibility virus" trap, where they narrow their focus and stop innovating. Key to this is a responsibility ladder (see diagram) that shows the evolution of responsibility in an organisation to a "Responsibility Maturity' (my words)
The book argues that companies should avoid developing an excessive sense of responsibility towards their existing products, services and processes. This "responsibility virus" makes companies reluctant to change and unable to adapt to new market forces. Martin proposes that companies need "responsibility discipline" - the ability to let go of past successes and shift resources to new areas.
Why is this useful?
This book is valuable for enterprise leaders because it provides insights into how and why successful companies can fail. By diagnosing the symptoms of the "responsibility virus", leaders can take action to build a culture of responsibility discipline. This is key to driving innovation and securing the future of the organization.
Want to take it further?
1. A 5 minute video with Roger Martin's key ideas:
2. A 37 minute talk by Roger Martin on responsibility discipline:
3. A 15 minute podcast discussing key concepts and takeaways from the book:
4. A blog post with a high-level book summary in under 3 minutes:
www.michaelgoitien.com - a great writer who refers to Roger Martin a lot🙂
I know you are time poor - that's why I write 3 Minute Skinnies on great books. Each summary takes no more than three minutes to read or listen to (get the substack app for a listening option) and includes great quotes, and gives you some next actionable steps if you want to take it further, and it is NOT generated by ChatGPT🙂
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