Accountability is all about Results

A key observation we make when we start working with a client is do they embrace or avoid accountability. Typically, we only tend to get called into organisations where there is an issue of dysfunctional behaviour. That’s a clue in itself!  Transformation consultants don’t get called into businesses where there are no problems. There is a language and behaviour pattern that can tell us straight away!

There are a couple of main points here. Leadership.  This is where the leadership uses accountability to blame people for poor performance. This only ever leads to employees avoiding being held accountable, for instance, by claiming confusion. Let’s face it, no-one really enjoys being blamed! This is especially true when the thing they’re being blamed for was not specifically their job!  If the blame game is running in your team, you have an accountability problem.

Secondly, and this is a major cultural issue, the organisation as a whole is ‘too supportive’! Forgiving, or in other words, not acknowledging, poor performance creates a culture of apathy. Employees start to believe they will never face any consequences for not achieving their objectives. This, in turn, leads to low performance becoming endemic and the norm. There is zero challenge anywhere within the organisation, hence, the organisation starts to fail and people eventually start leaving.

Accountability creates High Performance

How do you shift from Avoiding to Embracing Accountability?

Where there is an issue of avoiding accountability within an organisation there are major underlying problems.

One thing we would caution against is going straight into running workshops to teach employees the benefits of embracing accountability. This would be a quick fix for leaders that do not see they are a major part of the problem. The workshops would be a big fail!

We start looking at the major dysfunctions that result in employees being able to avoid accountability and then gradually work through them all. We start at the biggest issue of all, a lack of Trust. By the time the issue of accountability comes up, the issue may well have been sorted!  When we solve the bigger problems first we see the connected problems being easier to solve.  In other words, sort out the trust and communication will be come constructive.  After this, accountability becomes easier.

Transforming performance through accountability

If you ever feel like you’re the Wizard of Oz in your organisation then you have a serious accountability issue! Are you the one that everyone turns to for an answer, a decision, a solution? Then you’re the wizard and everyone will hold you accountable for their poor performance.

Our Creative Facilitation technique, PinPoint Facilitation, is the perfect approach to use to bring your team to a point of embracing accountability. This technique brings the whole team together and focuses on the core issue. Negative conflict is swept away by the overwhelming constructive and positive input from the whole team.

Transforming dysfunctional team performance and building high performing teams is one of our core skill sets here at Seek First Ltd.  Give us a call or drop us an email if you suspect you could do with transforming the behaviour of your team or organisation.