TTM associates Article
Many organizations spend considerable amounts of money and time in Performance Management systems, in Talent Management and other disciplines in order to improve organizational effectiveness. However, these investments will not deliver the desired results until they repair the organization’s culture on Accountability. CEOs and business leaders expect more engagement from their employees, greater reliability and accomplishing the organizational results. Whether the target is to grow the business, improve efficiency and achieving costs, or to implement a new change initiative, a culture of Accountability is the most effective way to align employees for results quickly during times of change, challenge or renewal.
There are 3 important keys for unlocking accountability in the workplace.
1. Making Accountability A Lived Value
Accountability should be implemented in an impactful way in order to show results within organizations as there seems to be a misunderstanding between what leaders value as accountability and how it is translated in a team. According to the Oz Principle, Accountability is defined as “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It’’.
Getting the entire team on board with the same language and framework, creates tremendous positive energy. As a result, people embrace and integrate accountability into everything they do, individually or collectively. With Accountability demonstrated and supported with clarity and consistency by all team members, results that previously could not be achieved, have become now entirely achievable. When everybody is committed in closing the gaps, it becomes a 360° effort that aligns everyone in making Accountability a value that all know how to implement in the organization.
Without substance, Accountability will not exist as a value; it will only be a statement.
2. Building trust through stepping Above The Line®
Trust is an important factor that contributes to accountability. In low-trust environments, people focus more on the blame, not the solution. In high trust environments, people focus on the solution, not the blame.
People and organizations find themselves thinking and behaving ‘Below the Line’ whenever they consciously or unconsciously avoid accountability for individual or collective results. A thin line separates success from failure and the great companies from the ordinary ones. Below the Line lies excuse-making, blaming others, confusion and helplessness. Above the Line we find a sense of reality, ownership, commitment, solutions to problems and determined actions, which can be developed through defining roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.
3. Making sound decisions – the Whole Brain® Way-is the way to Accountability
Ultimately, personal accountability means accepting full responsibility to achieve decisions and ‘Do It’. If the organization doesn’t ‘Do It’, it will never reap the most valuable benefit of full accountability: overcoming the obstacles and achieving the desired results. Despite the many benefits resulting from applying the previous three steps, results are delivered only when all four steps are put together and passionately, proactively and persistently “Do It”!
Effective decision making is both an art and a skill. Strong decision makers weigh ethics, risk, timing and emotions, along with the logic and analytics to generate Whole-Brain® solutions.
Whole-Brain® decision-making reaps the greatest benefits because it addresses all elements of problems: people, operations and strategic impact.
In 1914, Henry Ford decided to double the wages of his autoworkers and by that it was called out as the “The Greatest Business Decision of All Time” by the editors of Fortune 2012. He changed the way American business viewed employees; workers were no longer seen purely as an expense, but as an investment in the future prosperity of the company! Henry Ford paired the emotional impact that doubling income would have in employee loyalty (right brain) with the logical and analytical reality of increased company expenditure (left brain).
The price of non-accountability that people and organizations pay in terms of lost revenue, diminished profits, compromised growth, customer dissatisfaction and unsuccessful value creation, is enormous. This doesn’t include the personal pain inflicted on others when things go wrong. If Accountability is a core value of an organization, it warrants some attention to get it right, so that there is clear and consistent understanding and implementation from the top to the front line employees. A culture of accountability holds leaders through front-line workers accountable for meeting certain performance benchmarks. They achieve those benchmarks by relentlessly adhering to best practices and processes, which result in improved performance. Greater accountability always leads to better results across the board for every individual in the community.