TED Conversations

L. Denise Jackson

Founder & CEO,

This conversation is closed.

People just follow instructions from the boss or they take on their job with ownership. Share what you think is most sustainable.

Some peope are like Dilbert drones and others take ownership of what they do. What is going to sustain companies and create a increased profits.

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    Gail . 50+

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    Sep 24 2012: Your focus on the profits is misplaced. Our global economy is on the brink of its inevitable (guaranteed) collapse, and all those in power (and many individuals around the globe) know it. It's time for YOU to know it.

    You can be the CEO of a company that is dedicated to business planning that promotes outsourcing and using remote support systems that are more cost-effective, thus profitable for the few at the expense of the many, but that does not mean that your company is sustainable for any longer than the short term. Any company today that supports the slavery of crony capitalism is working against its own best interests. It is working for an economic system that will soon collapse. That is hardly sustainable.
  • Sep 27 2012: During your first stages on any job, you must go by the book of your boss, but after you master your job ownership will evolve naturally. Of course your boss will always be the boss. But you as individual will improve some techniques and put your own flavor on what you do. As long as you accomplish the expectations of the enterprise, there is nothing wrong in doing it your way.
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    Sep 26 2012: Own it, otherwise you are just a bunch of excuses
  • Sep 25 2012: I am probably naive, because I really believe the best employees are content employees.

    At one point in time, the notion of minimum profits was in vogue. The investors received a minimum return, the remaining profits were invested in the company to maximize growth. If a CEO tried that today he would be fired after the first quarter. This idea is directly related to investing in your employees and keeping them content. So ideas about productive employees are affected by corporations' enslavement to quarterly returns.

    I do not agree with TED Lover that our system is heading toward collapse. I do believe that this enslavement to short term thinking is not sustainable. Sacrificing long term benefits to obtain immediate gains is childish. Corporations with leaders who think and act long term will eventually win the competition.

    As for taking ownership, I think this idea is over rated. I worked building computer systems. It was very important for everyone on the team to keep in mind that the product would likely be around a lot longer than they would be. For example, this means that the documentation must be comprehensive and understandable. People who took ownership tended to give little thought to the long term, and their attitude sometimes interfered with good team work. They were very concerned about quality, but with a very narrow focus. They would sometimes object when someone else had to make modifications to "their" work. Business is not art.

    If the other option is just following instructions, that is even worse. No fun, little productivity, problems just keep repeating.

    The best employees maintain a balance. Best for themselves and best for the employer.