Accountability: Laying the Groundwork for Execution Excellence
[Execution Drivers Series | 3 of 4]
If you feel like you’re constantly hounding multiple people for reporting updates, you’re not alone. Most plan execution leads experience common barriers of not knowing who to ask for an update on any given initiative – or too many people to ask. This is why only 2% of leaders are confident that they’ll achieve 80-100% of their strategy’s objectives.
To accelerate execution, and move from a reactive organization to a proactive one, strategy leaders need to develop a system that effectively doles out responsibility for action items, as well as other drivers of execution identified in this blog series. Read about alignment here. Read about visibility here.
Why Do Organizations Need Accountability?
Is there one clear owner who is responsible for tracking the progress of a single initiative? How do you ensure updates are on time and accurate?
Often, initiatives falter simply because no one is held accountable for their progress. When a team or multiple individuals are the “owner” of an initiative, there is no one clear accountable party. Like the old saying goes “when everyone’s in charge, no one’s in charge.” No individual team member feels the responsibility of creating results for that initiative. When a single individual is held accountable, that employee is much more motivated to avoid the hot seat and move the initiative forward.
Ideally, the same system that creates visibility into progress will also create visibility into who is responsible for initiatives, particularly initiatives that are off-track or behind schedule. Most of your time and focus should be spent on these items so you can recalibrate and get back on track.
For the final driver of execution discussed in this blog series, read about how collaboration enables plan execution.
How to Use Accountability to Amplify Execution Excellence
The best technology solutions drive accountability, communication and collaboration by ensuring each initiative has an owner. These owners shouldn’t be accountable in name only. The solution should enable reporting on an individual basis, to see how often each accountable party provides late updates, falls off-track or successfully hits their targets.
Another benefit is that no one wants to be seen as a low-performing employee, particularly in front of their peers. A technology solution allows for employees to be recognized for the good, while also providing a way to keep an eye on their off-track projects and whether the team member has been diligent about providing updates. It also allows manager to easily keep an eye on each team member’s responsibilities and workload, to ensure that the burden of responsibility isn’t all on one person.
Download the guide on how to overcome other common plan execution problems by enabling accountability and the other three drivers of strategy execution, or read more in our Execution Drivers Blog Series. Check out our resource library for more tips to help align performance to organizational objectives, combine all information in one place and communicate a path to success.