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Traction Inc.

14 Nov 5 Ways to Build Accountable Organizations

Posted at 1:14:00 PM by Chris Hallberg

five-ways-to-build-accountabilityAn accountable organization is one in which all parties feel responsible to perform well and to take ownership for their missteps as well as their successes. While a foundation of accountability rests on many cornerstones, here are five of the most important values for building accountable organizations.

Clear Roles, Team Leadership and Individual Ownership

Businesses thrive on defined roles, where everyone knows their job and whom they answer to, and can take control of their duties and space. Companies that lack this emphasis often report timid or disaffected employees, stagnating growth and frustrated leadership. Avoid this by putting in place clear organization and ownership. Note that streamlined team leadership often results from the institution of an accountability chart, which we will discuss below. 

A Sense of Ownership for Team Results

When a team or a company’s results are routinely attributed to just one individual or subset of the team, divisiveness and competition ensue. When, on the other hand, a team culture embraces both successes and failures as belonging to all, the result is a sense of collaboration and equality. Even conflict, properly handled, bonds teams and ensures that members slowly attain the confidence to always speak their minds.

An Accountability Chart

Too often in organizations, which person bears responsibility for certain functions is not clearly defined. In fact, often the functions themselves are a little hazy, so no wonder your organization doesn’t feel accountable! An accountability chart breaks up your organization into three branches: Sales and Marketing, Operations and Finance. Then it puts one, repeat one, person at the head of each branch. In a particularly large organization, you can create smaller subsets of each branch. The idea, however, is to promote growth through removing friction and designating responsibility clearly.

The Expectation of Evaluation

A company’s employees, even those at the very top, should expect to be evaluated. They will then perform their best at all times, and won’t take an evaluation as a mark of poor work. Evaluations also help you see whether someone is the best fit for the job.

It’s Not About Punishment

Punishment is an archaic and Draconian idea premised on making someone “sorry,” and if this is how you run your company, you will always have conflict and lack accountability. No one wants to be called out or humiliated, so they will avoid ownership at all costs. Instead, make mistakes opportunities for learning, and encourage leadership to recognize that everyone is capable of slipping up.

If you haven’t yet achieved the culture you’re longing for, don’t worry: you will. By implementing these mindsets, you will slowly but surely build toward the work environment you dream of.


If you're interested in learning more about how you can make your company more accountable, schedule a free 90 minute consultation!

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