The Top 5 Business Words
Accountability is the next suggestion for the top 5 business words hall of fame. Within the Scaling Up methodology we help teams to create ‘a healthy culture of accountability’, but what do we mean by ‘accountability’?
Businessdictionary.com defines accountability as “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.”
On page 42 of ‘Scaling Up’ we define accountability as belonging to the one person who has the ‘ability to count’ – who is tracking the progress and giving voice when issues arise within a defined task. Accountability is about making sure things get done. Not simply doing things. A business where things don’t get done in a timely and effective manner is pretty ineffective and inefficient.
Cause and effect
The opposite to a ‘a healthy culture of accountability’ is an unhealthy culture of happenstance. Things may happen or they may not, depending. But we live in a world of cause and effect. ‘A healthy culture of accountability’ is about taking Extreme Ownership of our actions and therefore our results. It is about taking the chance out of events. It is about crafting our actions to create the outcomes we desire through our people.
An important thing to understand about accountability is that either one person is accountable, or no-one is accountable. If more than one person is thought to be accountable, then no-one actually is accountable. Once we understand this clearly it then becomes second nature to assign clear and measurable account-abilities to individuals and start to develop that culture of accountability, which all effective businesses must have. Getting account-abilities clear throughout the organisation is crucial.