Stop wasting time, effort and money. Create a ‘Culture of Accountability’ Now.

Gandhi

Your organization has finite resources. You have finite resources. There is simply no room for waste. Aligning your business decisions with available resources is a good practice, but it won’t drive profits. Accountability will.

If people, strategy, and cash-flow are important success drivers, then accountability is the practice that delivers the behaviors you need to keep those drivers in focus.

So…what do we really mean by accountability?

Patrick Lencioni, in his book, “Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” offers what I believe to be the most useful definition of accountability, “The willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group.”  I find this definition useful because it spreads ownership across the team. It encourages people to not only take responsibility for their own job, but to see their job as integral to executing the larger strategy.

During a recent retreat with a successful technology company, the team embraced a new, effective way to hold themselves and each other accountable for key objectives. They also committed to measure their results quarterly.

The process, referred to as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is simple, efficient and measurable. It puts critical, strategic objectives front and center for the entire organization to see. In doing so, it fosters a ‘culture of accountability’ strengthened by transparency and companywide commitment.

Each quarter, team members record their 3-5 most important objectives, and the 3-4 key results for each objective. These are negotiated with their supervisors, and final OKRs are posted on a wiki site for everyone to see. From the CEO down, everyone’s OKRs are visible and accessible.

At key intervals, you’re required to grade your results, and those are also shared. Everyone is encouraged to make their objectives slightly uncomfortable, so a grade of .6 – .7 (on a scale of 0-1) is regarded as a good score. Hint: The process is more important than the grade.

Whatever accountability process your organization adopts, what’s key is that it is a) transparent, b) measurable, and c) adopted by everyone throughout the organization. You can’t sustainably improve a system without full participation… from the top down.

Stop wasting time, effort and money. The impact accountability has on performance is astounding.

If you’d like to find out more about what it would take to put your organization on a progressive path toward accountability, give us a call at 215.806.8319.