In the last few years, I have made it a practice to ask friends, college classmates and business contacts the question, "During your career, what changes in management have you observed, particularly in the last five years?"

I expected to hear about trends such as the need to be more customer-centric or the move toward outsourcing. Instead, many people told me about seeing a sharp escalation in the tendency of businesses to hold managers and employees much more accountable for results. They said there is now no place to hide in an organization if you are not a value-adding producer. If you are not delivering expected outcomes, your job security or your job position is at risk.

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