We need more accountability

Do you, yes "you", reading this have a Job Description?


Think about it for a moment.


Within this document, I imagine you have a sizeable list of responsibilities.

Often, but not always the size of the list reflects your seniority. The higher up you are, the more responsibilities you have. Makes sense.


Looking at that JD then, what's your list of accountabilities?

Do you have any listed?


Responsibility is not the same as Accountability and the difference is critical.


Responsibility is linked to process

Accountability is linked to outcome


Responsibility is something you take

Accountability is something you accept


Imagine an organisation where you are only responsible and not accountable. You therefore take the responsibility for a process, a procedure, a task.

[You take responsibility for the on-boarding process for new clients.]


But you have no accountability. The outcome of this responsibility does not rest with you in any way.


You can immediately see that this is problematic.


The effectiveness of the process does not sit with you. You are merely responsible for the completion of the process, regardless of the outcome.


In most organisations I have worked in or supported, there is a distinct lack of clarity between responsibility and accountability.


Most of us would agree that both are important.


How clear are you on what you are responsible for?

How clear are you on what you are accountable for?

Where is this made clear to you?

How do you know if you are meeting these expectations?

Is your colleague clear on theirs?


And, if you are a leader, where are the gaps, where are the disconnections between responsibility and accountability within your organisation?


Where there are these gaps and disconnections, you will find poor decision-making and a culture of blame and shame.


Good governance requires unity,

There can be no unity, without accountability.


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