Developing a Culture of Accountability

The following is an excerpt of a blog post reprinted with permission from AchieveIt.

In a recent blog, I outlined the four stages of cultural evolution that are often experienced by organizations that implement our best-of-breed execution management system:

•    Culture of collaboration
•    Culture of accountability
•    Culture of execution
•    Culture of innovation

For most organizations, developing a culture of collaboration develops naturally. As organizations create a common vision, executive and middle managers rally together in support of one or more long-term goals.

Evolving to a culture of accountability
To move from a culture of collaboration to a culture of accountability is a difficult shift for many organizations. To complete this transformation requires that the company not only work together as a team trying to achieve a common vision, but also measure progress along the way. This requires organizational transparency so that all members of the team are able to monitor success and failure, see where implementation is lacking and shift the focus from getting things done to getting results. Developing a culture of accountability requires the following tools:

•    Organizational, departmental and individual scorecards.
•    Dashboards that track results over time.
•    Objectives that are measureable and quantifiable.
•    Strategies and tactics that support the objectives.
•    Objectives, strategies and tactics assigned to individual owners with firm due dates.
•    Progress review meetings at least monthly.

The key difference between organizations that are stuck in a culture of collaboration and those that have evolved to a culture of accountability is that the former generally rewards performance on the amount of work the team produces and the latter on the amount of results the team achieves. Companies that are in the collaboration stage oftentimes mistake "being busy" for "being strategic." They are very active and are doing a lot of "things," but the "things" aren't tied to measureable results.

Making the shift from a culture of collaboration to a culture of accountability usually produces significant business results.

More Articles on AchieveIt:

Developing an Execution Management System: Cultural Evolution, Stage 1
Is the Mission the Brand? Or is the Brand the Mission?

The Only Five Strategic Plan Objectives You'll Ever Need

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