A Culture of Accountability

“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” –Mia Hamm

Accountability is one of the key drivers of business culture. Absence of accountability erodes not only the culture but the vision, the strategy, the structure, the results, and ultimately, the entire purpose and integrity of an organization.

Webster defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Personal accountability means that an individual owns up to the results of his, hers, or their actions, good or bad.

Sadly, in some organizations, when things go wrong, a culture of blame can supersede the ideal of accountability. It is understandable that individuals don’t want to get into “trouble;” they don’t want to be singled for making a mistake; they don’t want to look bad. And yet, sidestepping responsibility and accountability means that there is no learning, no foundation upon which to build the next thing, and ultimately, no mission accomplished.

Accountability requires courage. It summons strength of character. It requires vulnerability and authenticity. It means not hiding behind a veneer of passive resistance.

At The Fedcap Group, we are striving to build a culture of accountability.  We do this by rigorously building structure—as we believe that good people fail in the absence of structure.  We do this by ensuring that people understand their responsibilities.  We do this by creating an environment where supervision and feedback are integral components of the workday.  People cannot function to their optimal level if they are unclear about what is expected of them—including tasks, attitude and standards.  We also hire leaders who set the tone, who are clear and who take ownership.

We are united in our mission to work toward eliminating barriers to economic well-being. The work is hard. The work is challenging.   The only way for us to be successful is to be transparent in acknowledging both our achievements and our failures.

Living in a culture where we are accountable to one another, where we feel we owe one another our very best is how we will accomplish our purpose. By being deliberate in speaking openly about our mistakes and our accomplishments, we create an authentic sense of oneness. We are all in this together—on the good days and the not-so-good days. We have each others’ backs. This is how we realize the Power of Possible.

How do you summon personal, team, and organizational accountability?

As always, I welcome your thoughts.