29th May 2014

Who Is Accountable, for What? by Ian Kinnery

Some time ago I wrote about the difference between accountability and responsibility;( Click Heresuggesting that while many people could be responsible, there can only ever be one person who is accountable. It is either one person or no-one.

For everything in your business there will be someone who is accountable, and yes I do mean every single thing.

The natural order of things is that you, the business owner / business leader will be the person who is accountable, and you will be accountable for everything, unless you properly and effectively assign (delegate) that responsibility to someone else. Everything from the overall profitability, to whether there is enough toilet paper, to the reputation, to the safety record to the morale and the cashflow needs to have someone who is accountable, otherwise it defaults to you. If you are currently overwhelmed and overworked what might that be telling you about your delegation skills and your assignment of accountability?

Every line on your monthly management accounts should have someone’s name inked in alongside as being the person accountable. If not guess what? It defaults to you and you probably don’t have the time or energy to diligently look after that area and therefore it is fundamentally unmanaged.

Who have you made accountable for your energy spend, your Gross Profit Margin, your conversion ratio, your marketing budget, your cleaning costs? If you haven’t formally assigned accountability to another, guess who? It’s you!

Every process should have someone who is accountable for that process. Yes I know we might all have some responsibility in how we file things but who is accountable for the process? Who is checking to see that it is done correctly? Who is making sure that all new recruits are being trained on the process? Who is the go to person for any suggested improvements to the process? If you haven’t formally assigned accountability to another, guess who? It’s you!

If these questions are making you think that you may have some improvements to make in this area you might also want to reflect that while all this stuff is defaulting to you, who has any time to actually run the business?