For some time now I’ve been debating whether to launch my own blog and the biggest questions i had were 1) what would I say? and 2) who cares? no really, who out there really cares?
I was having this discussion with a colleague of mine and he said (as far as what I’d say) “it has to be something you’re very passionate about, something that makes you get up off your seat to debate” and quiet honestly I didn’t know what that is until I found myself a few minutes later speaking with him about accountability in the workplace. That word gets such a bad reputation. For most, accountability is another word for blame, so to ask “who is accountable for this?” is to essentially ask “who can i blame for this?” or “if this thing tanks who’s responsible”? Notice how the context is always negative?
The result is a work-force that gets starry-eyed every time the question of accountability is brought up and when your work-force shys away from accountability they distance themselves from the end the result. They become disconnected, and quiet frankly, they stop caring because they don’t want to be responsible for anything “if it goes bad”.
Unfortunately, poor leaders and poor managers are to blame for how this word is used today.
Accountability is meant to inspire ownership, take command, and lead the effort & strategy to create change or impact. This can only be achieved through collaboration. Think of the captain on a ship, while he/she is accountable for the ship, he/she engages his/her co-captains, his/her crew and even the boatmen so that he/she can ensure that the ship is safe and on-course. While it’s possible that we may not succeed in what we are accountable for, nevertheless, we will be in the best position to explain the decisions made and the inputs that were considered to create those decisions. This in a nutshell is accountability!
If you can get your workforce to start thinking about accountability in this way, you’ll find an immediate improvement in soft areas such morale, team & personal engagement, as well as the technical areas of risk analysis and quality control.
I am a strong promoter of accountability in everything you do and I have built this blog to talk about the many areas of leadership and project/team management that require a strong sense of accountability. This is what motivates me, its what gets me up off my seat to debate and I hope it inspires and motivates.