Archives for posts with tag: Accountable

Not currently recyclable 5

Not currently recyclable 1

I’ve been in slightly bad form lately, the last few weeks in fact, and I couldn’t put my finger on the source of the malaise, until the other day. It’s because of recycling.

Or lack of it. In a post a while back, in fact about a year ago, I talked about how I recycle as much as possible but have no real knowledge of what happens once my bin is tipped into the truck.

I was chatting to a friend the other day, glorying in how much we recycle. We recycle all our plastics, I said, even shopping bags. You shouldn’t do that, he said, because you can only recycle hard plastic and it contaminates and adds to the cost of the recycling process.

He was right. Sure enough I was reading an article about the very same thing, confirming what he said. I had been doing it wrong. So I started doing it right, checking all of the packaging on stuff before I threw it away.

This led to my current feeling of frustration and exasperation. WE RECYCLE SO LITTLE OF OUR PACKAGING, EVEN NOW, IN 2018. How have we allowed governments and companies to get away with this for so long, to produce packaging that is ‘Not Currently Recyclable’? To me it seems beyond laughable, if it wasn’t so sad, that we can’t recycle:

  • Shopping bags
  • Shrink-wrap that binds our food and our drink containers together
  • All forms of packaging for perishable goods

This is the grim recycling realisation. We have so far to go.

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A long time ago I had a very able guy working for me in our marketing team. He was the only guy I had interviewed who took notes during the interview, which is what I used to do. It makes the interviewer feel like what you’re saying is worth preserving. It was important to the person who wanted to work for you, important enough for them to want to refer back to.

He used to talk about the perils of being saddled with a role or project that you were accountable for, but not responsible for.

Put simply, when you’re accountable but not responsible, you’re not in charge but you get the flak when something goes wrong. It’s all downside and no upside. You don’t have control. When the project goes poorly you’re the one that gets blamed. When it goes well, the person responsible takes the plaudits.

This is a tough situation, and it usually happens when you’re in an organisation that tends to be more closed than open, more political than altruistic. The corporate culture is not quite right.

My advice in this situation is to draw the attention to your superior of the various outcome¬†probabilities, including¬†failure, beforehand, and why you’re not in a position to influence it otherwise. Then your boss has the information and they have to make a decision. And the decision they make will tell you a lot about your future there.

The guy I mentioned went on to do great things. Not surprising, really.