Somebody, Anybody, Everybody, Nobody

June 22nd, 2016

Does everybody in your organisation know who does what? Perhaps the most common statement uttered in your office is ‘It’s Not My Job’!

When your employees know what they have to do, why, how and when, everything runs smoothly. If not it’s chaos! It’s just as bad at the family home – I thought you doing it is a common cry when something goes wrong.

This little story describes what happens. I can’t find the original author but I say thank you to whoever did.

It’s called: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. 

There was an important job to be done and

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

Fast growing businesses can easily lose control of what has to be done and who does it. That’s why process mapping is crucial. Documenting the steps in any process brings great clarity and an opportunity to make improvements – reducing complexity, removing waste and duplication. The second stage of any process mapping is to allocate responsibility and accountability for completing the task. Once a person is allocated to a task, everyone knows when it’s their turn to act. Chaos and confusion is a thing of the past, smooth seamless processes take their place.

The outcome is that customers get the consistently consistent service they demand, employees are content because they know what is expected of them and your bottom line grows as you waste less money.

So the next time you come across an anybody, nobody, somebody or everybody situation take the time to process map the action and allocate responsibility so that the problem never comes back.


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter.