<-- home


Edited: July 30, 2020 (v0.0.5)

In a large group setting, sometimes divying up responsibility and ownerhsip of an area makes sense. It’s a way we organize to divide and conquer large problems. In many situations, ownership allows for accountability, which is good. But that same construct – ownership – also has a slowing-down effect that can become toxic if left unchecked.

An overly zealous sense of ownership has many forms. It can look like excessive review or sign off from the “owning” team, a fear of trying something new because that “space” is “owned” by another, or more. It is a bad sign if people describe sign-off, review, buy in, or consensus building with the words trial, hell, or prison. E.g., Review Committee Prison, Design Hell, Promotion Trial… these are all bad signs.

Don’t let an overly zealous sense of owernship build monopolies on areas of your project, business, or ideas. Ownership is a way to divide and conquer big problems, not defend status quos in little silos.

Ownership can become toxic.