The Up-Side of Czars

Stepping back from the details of any one US Presidential administration, we see a pattern since the 1930s of appointing “czars” for various topics.  What’s the purpose of doing that, and why might business owners want to do something similar?

One business parallel is the Process Owner.

In any large or complex business, you can have work that flows through many groups, or responsibilities that require coordination of groups.  To make the process work, you may need to designate a single human being to be the “owner” of the entire process end-to-end.  That person can then see where there may be hand-off problems or coordination breakdowns between groups.

If you were to look for government agencies involved in a given policy area, such as preventing teen pregnancy, you’d find a bewildering variety of federal agencies were doing something related to that topic, in dozens of different initiatives.  Without some sort of process owner or policy czar, coordination across those agencies and programs would not happen, or would be slow and cumbersome.

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