Working in a Culture of Accountability creates a strong sense of what we call “organizational health and integrity.” It is the collective version of individual health and integrity where “I will do what I say I will do” becomes “We will do what we say we will do.” When people do everything in their power to do what they say they will do, rather than talk and complain, work becomes predictable and commitments become reality.
How often do you hear people in your organization ask questions and make comments such as “Why can’t people do what they say they’ll do?” “Why can’t people stay focused on what matters most?” “What makes people so political and turf-oriented in this organization?” “How do they expect us to keep up with their changing priorities?” “We talk and talk about the same old issues, but nothing ever changes.” “Nobody walks the talk around here.” In reality, such questions and comments are pretty typical in organizations today, so this is why people in organizations develop a heightened awareness of inconsistencies, contradictions, and hypocrisy. Organizations and leaders that do not address these accountability issues can expect to pay a huge price for their inattention: unmet expectations and undelivered results throughout the organization.
Only when leaders and organizations are serious about creating a Culture of Accountability can they permanently move from talking about inconsistencies, contradictions, and hypocrisy to doing something about them. How do you make that happen? You do it by “Follow Through,” “Get Real,” and “Speak Up.” Follow Through means to do what you say you will do, Get Real means to get to the truth, and Speak Up means to say what needs to be said. No team or organization can expect to develop true accountability or a Culture of Accountability without these values and their associated actions.