Book-projects – Power and response-ability

Power and response-ability – the human side of systems is a new book project.


“Many of the common concepts of power in business are so close to perfectly wrong that it’s amazing any work happens at all…”

The physics definition of power is ‘the ability to do work’; most social definitions are closer to the ability to avoid it. This insight provides opportunities for a radical re-think of power and response-ability at work. Linking the human side of systems into the architecture of the enterprise creates workplaces that are more effective, empowering and profitable for everyone involved.

This enlightening and enlivening book explains the interplay of power, property and responsibility in the business context – how it works, why it doesn’t, and what to do about it. Topics covered include:

  • how to identify power in the workplace – both functional and dysfunctional
  • how to enhance responsibility and ‘response-ability’ at work
  • how to resolve differences of scale, from ‘I’ to ‘We’ to ‘Us’ to ‘Them’
  • how to avoid ‘power-traps’ that could put the enterprise at risk
  • how to design systems that improve purpose-fulfilment, relationship-management and knowledge-technology in the enterprise

The book includes a diagnostic checklist on power, property and responsibility, and also describes the background to other Tetradian tools and techniques such as the SEMPER whole-of-enterprise metric – see SEMPER and SCORE: enhancing enterprise effectiveness.

If you want to include the human side of systems in your enterprise-architecture, this is one book you’ll definitely need.

Tom Graves has been an independent consultant for almost three decades, in business transformation, enterprise architecture and knowledge management. His clients in Europe, Australia and the USA have covered a broad range of industries including banking, utilities, logistics, engineering, media, telecoms, research, defence and government. He has a special interest in architecture for non-IT-centric enterprises, and integration between IT-based and non-IT-based services.


This book was published in July 2008 by Tetradian Books as Power and response-ability: the human side of systems – see that link for order-details.

See Content and status for more details on the content of each chapter of the book.

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