Upon having and being a boss

Best practice for workplace power relations, wrt mitigating moral mazes etc.

[The alternative]({.caption}


…widespread involvement can generate greater buy-in and better outcomes, but it can also generate confusion about who is responsible for what. The “MOCHA” model can help managers more clearly articulate who should play what role throughout the course of work and thereby generate better results.

MANAGER :Assigns responsibility and holds owner accountable. Makes suggestions, asks hard questions, reviews progress, serves as a resource, and intervenes if the work is off-track.

Has overall responsibility for the success or failure of the project. Ensures that all the work gets done (directly or with helpers) and that others are involved appropriately. There should only be one owner.
Should be asked for input or needs to be bought in to the project.
Assists with or does some of the work.

APPROVER: Signs off on decisions before they’re final. May be the manager, though might also be the executive director, external partner, or board chair.

Managers can use a very simple table to make clear who is assigned to what role.

See also DISC model.


Back, Ken, Kate Back, and Terry Bates. 1991. Assertiveness at Work: A Practical Guide to Handling Awkward Situations. 2nd ed. London ; New York: McGraw-Hill.

No comments yet. Why not leave one?

GitHub-flavored Markdown & a sane subset of HTML is supported.