According to an article in Harvard Business Review, "The brutal fact is that about 70% of all change initiatives fail." There are lots of reasons that fast growing mid-market companies have a hard time completing complex initiatives like integrating acquisitions, launching new products, expanding to new markets, and driving revenue growth. When you have initiatives like these, you are relying on cross-departmental collaboration and high performance from your individual A-players. Breakdowns in communication, lack of clear purpose, failure to set common expectations, poor collaboration, and lack of follow up on results and consequences can all spell disaster for your best-laid plans. The key is, in a word, accountability.
There are lots of misconceptions about accountability; many view it as a harsh or punitive term (think: "I'm going to hold my team accountable for not hitting their numbers!") In reality, accountability is not something we can impose on others; it is something we have to intentionally build into our culture so that each of us holds ourselves accountable. What does the right environment for accountability to thrive look like?
Here are the top 10 behaviors we see in companies with high levels of accountability:
If you recognize some areas that your team could improve, you're not alone. Many leaders get frustrated with "lack of accountability" in their teams. For help building a accountability in your organization, come to our Breakthrough Conference in October, and be sure to attend Cathy McCullough's session, "5 Secrets to Increase Team Accountability."