Accountability can be a bit of a corporate buzzword these days. What does it mean? How can implementing a focus on accountability improve the workplace culture? What would your office look like if each team member too personal responsibility for seeing, owning, and solving problems?
Peter Smith is the president and CEO of AMERICAN SYSTEMS, an engineering and IT solutions firm that specializes in complex national priority projects for the government. He joined me to talk about how focusing on the culture at AMERICAN SYSTEMS has had a dramatic impact on the company's key results and provided other benefits as well:
Sometimes people are uncomfortable with the word "accountability." It can sound critical, too judgmental. Yes, taking action to improve your workplace will require some changes, but it isn't about pointing out the flaws in others; it's about seeing opportunities for improvement and making a personal commitment to doing your best work.
It helps to come together as a team to decide on some shared values. For AMERICAN SYSTEMS, they chose four:
Having shared values is invaluable.
When If friction crops up between coworkers, the values create a common ground to build upon. Our conversation touched briefly on the most typical reasons people get ruffled feathers--perceived threats to their status, certainty, autonomy, relationships, or fairness.
The gorgeous dog above helps me remember those five variables.
Think about the last issue in your workplace. I'll bet you a dog biscuit that it was related to one of these.
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