5 Reasons Your Organization NEEDS a Culture of Accountability®

Posted by in Blog and News, on January 7, 2017

As a leader do you go to sleep at night confident that everyone in your team or organization is demonstrating the ownership necessary to achieve the desired Key Results?

Do you have people that you are not certain if they will get the job done, or done correctly?

Do you have people that want more autonomy but you are reluctant to give it to them?

Do you have silos in your organization? Do people ever spend time covering their tail, blaming others, or blaming circumstances for not achieving desired results? Do people in your organization feel some things are ‘Not my job’? Do you have people you wish would be more accountable, or take greater accountability?

These are all symptoms of weaknesses and gaps in accountability. Every CEO and business leader would want greater accountability, greater reliability, and certainty in achieving organizational results, and greater alignment and engagement of their human resources to deliver on desired results. Highly favoured is the HR / OD Leader who can deliver on creating a Culture of Accountability® within the enterprise!  We have done a vast amount of research in a Workplace Accountability Study that included over 40,000 participants over multiple years, and that research shows that there is an incredible tax on organizational effectiveness from people engaging in unproductive behaviors that are Accountability Killers and productivity siphons! These behaviors are not the exception, they have become normalized, and unless an organization does something deliberate and purposeful to create a Culture of Accountability® they will continue to pay the price in diminished productivity and results.


1)  A Culture of Accountability brings Clarity of Organizational Key Results! Our research shows that only 15% of organizations say that key results are clearly defined in a way that employees at all levels can engage, pointing to a large-scale and prevalent misalignment around key organizational goals. The result is widespread confusion, significant organizational underperformance, and failure to meet key objectives among the majority of the world’s companies. “Not defining key results and, worse still, failing to communicate them throughout the organization, may be the most expensive management oversight ever and a tragedy at nearly every level.” says Roger Connors, CEO of Partners In Leadership, the Workplace Accountability Study Sponsor.

2)  A Culture of Accountability creates Alignment: This methodology purposefully shifts from the individual focus of ‘doing the job’ to a collective focus of ‘achieving the result’. What CEO would not want to know that everyone in their organization is clear on the Key Results the organization is striving to achieve, and that everyone is committed and accountable to overcome any obstacle to ensure success?

3)  A Culture of Accountability is a Silo-Buster: The focus of ‘doing the job’ rather than ‘achieving the result’ results in ‘silos’ where resources, budgets and decisions are managed independently with slightly competing priorities and outcomes. This results in resources being hoarded, wasted, or just not used effectively. Creating organizational and team alignment, clarity and accountability to Key Results is a much more effective use of resources.

4)  A Culture of Accountability is a great antidote for unproductive behaviours: The blame game, finger-pointing, tail-covering, feigning helplessness or ignorance, and ‘wait and see‘ how things might turn around themselves are all identified as being Below The Line® and are ineffective if we stay there. Instead of being left unchallenged and normalized, we show people how to call themselves and others out for going Below The Line, and how to do so safely with a common language and an agreed model that governs us.

5)  A Culture of Accountability is an accelerant to transforming collaboration and results: Above The Line® we find The Steps To Accountability where (using The Wizard of Oz as a metaphor) we demonstrate the courage of the Lion to See It®, the heart of the Tin Man to Own It®, the brains of the Straw Man to Solve It®, and like Dorothy who had the power all along to click her heels three times, we also need to Do It®. We consistently convert ineffective behaviours to effective behaviours, create self and mutual accountability to be engaged and demonstrate real ownership to solve problems and close gaps that would otherwise limit our results. We foster collaboration and innovation to overcome obstacles and achieve unprecedented results.



As we define it, “Accountability is a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results; to See It®, Own It®, Solve It®, and Do It®”.

Why do organizations need to fix accountability? In short, Accountability done right is the fastest path to changing how we work and engage to achieve results. Accountability permeates everything we do: How we make and keep commitments, how we execute, how we engage, how we overcome obstacles and how we deliver on key results. Whether the desired result is to grow the business, improve efficiency and reduce costs, or to implement some new change initiative, a Culture of Accountability is the most effective way to align people for results quickly in a time of change, challenge or renewal.

We have seen organizations that have made tremendous investments in Talent Management and Training but proudly state that these were all nice, but the most amazing results they achieved were when they worked on developing a Culture of Accountability. We see organizations spend large amounts of time and money in Performance Management systems, in LEAN and in Six Sigma, and in all kinds of disciplines to improve organizational effectiveness but until they fix Accountability, these investments don’t deliver the desired results. Whether chronic or acute, there are missed deadlines and commitments, missed targets, and failed outcomes that can all be attributed to people not demonstrating the ownership necessary to See It, Own It, Solve It and Do It to deliver desired results.

Our research shows a widespread accountability void that has negative but reversible consequences.


A Culture of Accountability is the most effective culture, period!. The success or failure of everything you try to achieve as an organization or team will be enhanced or diminished by your level of accountability.


Stephan Brandt

Stephan is the Managing Director of DOOR International Western Canada, the Exclusive Authorized International Partners for Partners In Leadership, The Accountability Training and Culture Change Company™

Tel: 587.355.5514,  Cell: 403.828.4544  E-mail: s.brandt@doortraining.com

® 2014 Partners In Leadership – Culture of Accountability®, Above The Line®, Below The Line®, See It®, Own It®, Solve It®, and Do It®, Accountability Training®  – Any use of these trademarks without the written permission of Partners In Leadership is strictly prohibited.

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