A lack of accountability can dramatically impact our organisations, families, and social lives. Gaps often form between what’s expected and what’s delivered, and before we know it, our organisation has developed into an unhealthy culture.
We believe there are four viruses causing these accountability issues, and before we can treat them, we need to identify them.
The first virus is a Culture of Resistance. In this culture, people believe they are expected to put forth the least effort possible, leading to major gaps in performance.
The second virus is a Culture of Silence. In this culture, people believe harmony is more important than results. In reality, both are important for a healthy workplace.
The third virus causing accountability issues is the Culture of Cynicism.
The Culture Of Cynicism
Leadership is influence. It’s how we treat one another and share information every day, including when we have tough conversations about closing expectation gaps.
The problem is when leaders make promises but fail to deliver. They don’t carry enough influence to affect how others are thinking, feeling, and doing on a daily basis. When this becomes a pattern, cynicism develops in the organisation.
Here’s the unwritten rule of a Culture of Cynicism: “Wait it out.”
“Hang in there buddy, it will all go away.”
The interesting thing about this virus is we socialise it. We breathe life into them by the very things we choose to do. That’s why they’re so challenging and difficult to overcome.
In many cases, a training programme isn’t enough.
The good news is, we have answers. We’ve done this before. We know how to help you transition from where you are to where you truly want to be.
There are more than 30 years of applied research, testimonies, and rich case studies of what we’re doing in Australia and around the world that make a profound difference.
The Culture of Collusion
The fourth virus is a Culture of Collusion. We collude with one another.
The unwritten rule is, “Don’t confront me and I won’t confront you.”
This is a social contract we make with our work colleagues.
“If we agree to do this, I’ll look after you and you’ll look after me.”
“We’ll survive leadership and management.”
“We’ll get through this acquisition and restructuring.”
This becomes the unwritten rule regardless of what any policy or procedure might say.
We know that a Culture of Collusion is a definite path to mediocrity. It encourages people to do just enough to stay in business, stay in the market, or stay employed.
By removing or reducing the effect of these viruses (through conversations of accountability), we see improvements two major areas.
- Business Execution – The capacity to execute our mission and deliver our products/services at a superior level of performance.
- Innovation – The ability to innovate consistently and successfully for the future.
When an individual routinely engages in self-directed change, execution improves by 41% and innovation improves 45%.
When multiple individuals engage in open dialogue, our results go up even further. Execution improves by 53% and innovation improves by 62%.
When teams participate in universal accountability on a daily basis, we see improvements in execution by 60% and innovation by 72%.
Finally, when an organisation promotes influential leadership – people who can deeply affect how others think, feel, and act – we see improvements in execution by 91% and innovation by 111%!