Does Individual Accountability Imply Inability to Prioritize?

In conversation today, we hit on an interesting idea. It’s truthy; I’m not sure whether it’s true. In the experience of the people in the room, the following two statements were identical:

  1. Tasks, and responsibilities, are done by individuals. Individuals are accountable for outcomes.
  2. Every person in the company is assigned multiple parallel tasks, stopping at the point where each person has the number of tasks which makes them ineffectual.

The places where we have not seen #2 all do team-based task ownership, responsibility, and accountability. Is this true in your experience as well?

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