The Buck Stops Where?

My first thought on hearing that Patricia Dunn had offered to resign as HP Chairwoman was that it was time for her to go. There was no doubt in my mind that she was sitting where the buck had to stop.

My second thought was that I’ve made a mistake or two in my professional life. I owned up to my mistakes and I was forgiven by my bosses. In the big scheme of things, was Dunn’s mistake unforgivable?

My third thought was that people at the top are given more leeway than those at the bottom. I have no doubt that a middle manager who set in motion the collection of his peer’s private telephone records would be tossed out in a heartbeat.

My fourth thought was that a Chairwoman must delegate. A middle manager should keep an eye on things. But the HP Chairwoman needs to make decisions, delegate their execution and move on.

My fifth and final thought was that big business should face a vote of confidence every now and then. Imperial boards have convinced themselves that can justify anything in the name of shareholder value. I’m not sure that the shareholders actually agree with them.