What is Accountability?
At one time or another we have all heard it – that accusation around missing accountability: “No one is holding them accountable!” We have an expectation that accountability has to be made visible through punitive actions. Stephan Brandt of Door Training has a different view, and it is refreshing. It does require a paradigm shift: connect accountability to clearly defined results, not to a failure to achieve.
Recently Stephan joined us for lunch, and I am sorry if you missed his enthusiasm and passion for a subject which hits many of us hard in the workplace. His talk was based on The Oz Principle a book by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion all have a role to play in accountability. Ultimately, the authors remind us that accountability is a personal choice.
Our brain does much of its work underwater, in other words, unconsciously. We learned from Stephan about above the line and below the line behaviour. Below the line behaviour includes blaming, stalling, and ignoring and results in victimization. Above the line behaviour is about actions, and importantly, results.
The below the line behaviour is defensive. As we protect ourselves, we unwittingly and unconsciously create victims. This behaviour is destructive. Stephan reminded us that this thin line separates success from failure. Shifting above the line from the victimizing blame game to accountability requires finding courage like the Lion to retell the story. It requires finding a heart, like the Tin Woodsman to own it and like the Scarecrow, finding the wisdom to solve it. Finally, like Dorothy, you need to do it. I am reminded that the Wizard could not help Dorothy; she had to find the means to do it herself, and she had it all along.
So how do you close your accountability gaps? How do you help others find the courage to see things differently and the wisdom to look for new solutions? The powerful & reliable way to close Accountability Gaps, according to the authors is to follow the Steps To Accountability and the inspiration of the Oz characters: See It, Own It Solve It and Do It.