As mentioned in previous articles, I have been conducing interviews and performing research for my new book that focuses on culture and change management. I have gathered so many interesting perspectives on leadership, the importance of culture for achieving better results and driving change that I feel compelled to share them.
It may seem obvious, but accountability is probably the single most important element fueling truly successful organizations. Why is this?
It’s because accountability…
Strengthens the Culture
“Without accountability execution suffers; and a lack of accountability can have a snowball effect throughout the team. Accountability becomes embedded into corporate culture by making it everyone’s responsibility, establishing meaningful goals and team buy-in, building trust through support and encouragement, empowering everyone on the team and celebrating successes together,” says John Wright, Director and VP Marketing at MCGB Properties Ltd.
Fabrizio Moreira, CEO of The Moreira Organization LLC shared, “The best way to encourage positive business outcomes and discourage unfavorable ones is to reward excellence, while correcting performance that doesn’t live up to your expectations. I’ve found that in operating in this manner decision makers are able to achieve the greatest results.”
“Accountability is important since it results in a highly efficient and productive team. The key point is having each member take full responsibility on a given task or goal from A to Z, which eliminates confusion and saves a lot of time and resources,” says John Brown, Chief Editor at PrettyMotors.com, which strives to sell the best automotive parts and accessories.
Mike Scalin, CEO of Born to Sell, gave me his perspective. “Accountability breeds trust. Managers need to have open communication and stand by their decisions and actions, so that all members of the team know the rules, know they will be applied equally to all, and have transparency.”
“In order for a team, particularly a team of highly competent professionals, to work at maximum capacity, each person must be held fully accountable for their assigned tasks. Competence and skill are only a fraction of the equation – in reality, responsibility, along with specificity of expectations and duties, are what allow for the collective success of an organization,” said Ramzy Ladah, Owner & Personal Injury Lawyer at Ladah Law Firm, PLLC.
Achieves Common Goals
Rickard Bäcklin, CMO of Telia Carrier, said, “I’d define a high-performance team as a set of very diverse individuals all working towards a common goal or challenge. You will often find these teams in companies driven by a bigger purpose – and very common within successful start-ups. Accountability is therefore critical, with the certainty that each unique piece of the puzzle fits and fulfills the common purpose.”
Helps Define the Mission
“Providing context to why a project is important and how it achieves business goals is critical to creating accountability and obtaining results. When team members understand why their role is meaningful, they are more likely to feel personal ownership,” says Jacob Hagberg of Orange Fox.
Sets Performance Indicators
Graeme Donnelly, CEO of 1st Formations, the online company formation agents in the UK said, “Accountability is of utmost importance in a high-performance team. Clear expectations for everyone on the team coupled with an understanding of accountability for their performance are the key ingredients to improving confidence, morale and production within the team.”
“Intense accountability is an integral part of avoiding groupthink because it fosters constructive conflict within teams. Protected within the rigid walls of groupthink, teams remain oblivious to reality’s unpleasant forecasts and vulnerable to their consequences,” says Zain Dhanani, Founding Partner of Tinsli.
Empowers the Team
Eddie Maddan, who runs a Toronto SEO Company told me, “Accountability is important to establish a great level of trust at the workplace. It also helps to empower employees and gives them a sense of leadership. We drive this value into the team by letting them be responsible decision makers which helps us unearth the next leader.”
So how can company’s build accountability into the culture so much so that it becomes the core driver for achieving results beyond what the leadership team could imagine? Its not an easy process and requires a consistent and diligent effort starting at the top. Senior leaders must create cultural experiences that support the necessary beliefs required for the team to take proactive action to get results.
This is easier said than done of course. If leaders aspire to improve the company culture, especially to ingrain accountability, they must first gather data. A “culture diagnostic” can be very helpful to understand where the company stands. All company cultures will have both good and bad elements. Analyzing what’s working and what needs to be improved upon is a good building block for developing a culture-improvement initiative.
Once the plan is in place, take action, get feedback along the way, follow-through and measure the outcomes.
This article was written by Brent Gleeson from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.