CNO: Chief ‘No’ Officer

Finally catching up on weeks of RSS news I haven’t read, and I came across this on Seth Godin’s blog:

Appoint a CNO—chief no officer. No longer can someone say no to an idea and leave it at that. If you want to turn something down, you’ve got to pass it on to your boss. Then either he says yes or gives it to his boss. For a “no” to be official, it’s got to be approved by the chief no officer and countersigned by every manager along the way.

As he says, it’s not that simple, but it could be! This kind of an idea, this kind of attitude, could fix most problems I have with large companies. The culture of no, that I’ve spoken about to collegues multiple times, is a good part of what I have a problem with working for large companies. It’s far easier to do nothing than to do something, that after a while attempting to do the right thing becomes far more work than it’s worth, fighting against all the no answers between you and the top rungs. Businesses that maintain the status quo die, and the entire bureaucracy of the business is setup for people to protect their fiefdom’s and maintain the status quo. This is why you will find me working for small companies for the foreseeable future after this job is over.


One Comment on “CNO: Chief ‘No’ Officer”

  1. I once worked for a company where NO ONE said, “It’s not my job.”

    It was great.

    No matter what was goign on, if you asked someone for help, they’d help.


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