The “A” word – yes, it’s ACCOUNTABILITY

Are you having trouble understanding why everyone is busy but nothing seems to happen?

Then I have a paper for you!  I came across a white paper “Creating a Culture of  Execution” which is really an excellent treatise on the process of getting the results you desire.  It talks about four stages of cultural transformation:

  1. Culture of Collaboration
  2. Culture of Individual  Accountability
  3. Culture of Execution
  4. Culture of Innovation

Each of these steps is essential for moving to the next level.   The place where I see most companies stuck is between steps 1 and 2.  Getting that “A” word on the table is a huge leap for business owners.  Typically, business owners have a huge sense of internal accountability and are very effective in managing themselves, but it’s much harder to hold other people accountable.

I think there are several reasons for this.

One reason is that a business owner is typically quite passionate about their
business and has a pretty clear vision (even if it is not articulated) of where
they want to go, so he/she doesn’t need to have any external prompting to do
what needs to be done to and doesn’t see that other people are not similarly motivated.

Another reason for the lack of accountability is that business owners often have no training as managers – and it shows.

A third reason that I see is that many business owners want to be liked by their employees and don’t want to be seen as bossy.

I love the term “The Freedom of Tyranny” coined by Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations and author of Joy, Inc which will be released on December 26th.  The Freedom of Tyranny explains the total freedom that staff have to do their very best job when what is expected of them is totally clear.  This is a good place to start in putting the A word into your company!

photo credit: February2011 636 via photopin (license)

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