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Accountability |

For Businesses



At Choice Awareness we have defined a set of characteristics about accountability partners for business.

Background

Accountability in business can be a fluid and touchy subject, most normally in small and medium companies, although there are problems too in corporate enterprises. 

Being able to accomplish your particular objectives, tasks and projects is highly dependent upon various internal and external conditions.

One of the most important requirements is being able to access and use all the required resources you need to perform.  Input into your specific commitment is essential coupled with unequivocal metrics and methods for judging accomplishments. Clearly knowing what is expected and how you'll be measured is an absolute necessity - regardless of your position in the business.

Some performance based standards in mature businesses include:

  • Ability to help set or adjust your business units or group goals (i.e. published targets and attainment) usually with links and visibility to critical company initiatives.

  • Direct performance accountability with a first level leadership person, project or team leader.

  • Formalized evaluations with your leadership, sometimes with team feedback for 360 reviews (although we are somewhat skeptical about these 360 reviews without clearly defined and articulated beliefs systems in place).

  • Supporting education, training and implementation for continuous improvement.

Understanding Evolution & Formality

Start-ups and small business are unique compared to the standards noted because little if any actual formalization is present. Tracking the evolution of business based upon formality and optimization characteristic levels (e.g. see five levels of the  Strategic Management Maturity Model - for more detail and history see some important research on this topic) is helpful in understanding what is present during growth. To test the current maturity level of your business we suggest taking the interactive assessment. Start-ups and small businesses would fall at the initial stage of level one where the organization would be characterized as chaotic, ad hoc, with individual heroics common to get business objectives accomplished.

(Wisdom Sidebar) There are significant differences between the five maturity levels: we tend to focus upon the perspective of level one and two companies. We suggest a custom approach that takes in account the in-place informal or formal structure for designing an accountability process. We can help you create a simple easy-to-use process to accommodate both the internal and external elements which may exist. Contact us to discuss how we might approach this with you. We invite you to inspect our CAM ON-Purpose Awareness Model as a preamble to you having a discussion with us. BTW if you and your organization have little or no interest in excellence or foundational disciplines, we are not the right fit for you or your organization.

Starter Character Set For Partners

Our starter character set is in list form and is only a starting point for your consideration.

Select from the list that which works best for you and add to it as you require.

Also, use it when you speak with a prospective partner. Better yet, have your partner review this page before you meet for the first time: let them bring their questions and ideas about what would work for them to your first meeting.

Feel free to enlarge this list as needed:

  1. A compassionnate, considerate, empathetic and an aware person.

  2. A good sense of humor, especially able to laugh at themselves.

  3. Able to articulate their own and the company's beliefs, which at a minimum will include faith in themselves and others.

  4. Considers themselves an aspirant - committed to learning and discovery.

  5. Possessing Character - able to speak truth, know it and see it in others.

  6. Willing to be non-judgmental and strong capacity to listen closely.

  7. Demonstrates morality in their behavior; able to keep confidences.

  8. Possesses consistent patterns of behavior - ability to contribute.

  9. Has an intimate knowledge of the company culture and processes; would have an overall rating of 8 or better on the CAM Awareness Scale.

  10. Finally and preferably, they are connected spiritually in some manner (i.e. whether deep within themselves and/or a higher power other than themselves or outside of themselves). This does not refer to a religion.

Important Considerations

As we have described in the individual accountability, we highly recommend that your accountability partner(s) have no prior association with you or your business. They should not be mentors, part of the leadership team or another departments or groups within your business, competitors in your industry, etc. These accountability partners should have no experience with your domain, discipline or otherwise because you want a fresh approach, no strings attached, no inherent interest other than helping you become more effective. You will come to realize how helpful independent thought will deliver all kinds of new ideas for you and your team. You will be providing reciprocity to your partner similarly. This will require planning, design, searching, meeting and great thought on your part. If you are team based looking for partners, all will share in the processes and the delivered choices and feedback getting to full effectiveness once you get going. We recommend selecting one person inside your team to have the accountability connection with one member of their team. If you have questions about this, we invite you to contact us for a conversation about this topic. We can offer ideas about how to find an accountability partner using social media...

Accountability sessions

Once you have formalized your accountability process (e.g. the why's, what's and the how's), we suggest documenting your process on a single page, with the top three items to discuss. Ensure the space provided for each item includes the target goal/outcome (i.e. usually a quantity or amount), target milestone date, % attainment, and issues/challenges to solve (e.g. what's in the way or stopping things moving forward), resources required, and the solutions. Focus attention to solutions instead of the problems. You should be able to come up with at least 10 solution for each challenge. Ask for help in determining solutions...

A few Words of Caution

This is no easy task establishing an accountablity partner. But, it isn't expected to be because it requires commitment, effort and time for you and your teams to participate at a high level of awareness. There are no rules which will prevent you from innovation in this area, except inhibiting beliefs (there will be many road blocks from you and your team): we suggest pushing through the uncomfortableness of what may occur during this process, to get you and your team to a new level of awareness, understanding and performance.

(Hint) Select industries that have innovative beliefs, processes and deep integrity in place (i.e. quality organizations are good places to begin your search - check out firms with QA and ISO certifications).  If you are a team embedded in a particular domain inside your company (e.g. see the next paragraph), you will want to clue your leadership team about your process and your targeted search companies too - there may be advantages to be derived from their strategic input and approval. Remember, the people that you want are there but you will have to look closely and they will come present when both your needs intersect. Be patient and persistent.

If you are a team reporting to a leadership member, we do recommend you involve your leadership team in your ideas (after you have designed your plan for this with all the components mentioned), because you will be directed to have your accountability partner(s) sign non-disclosure agreements to protect any intellectual property rights. Remember, it is not the goal to share such insider information, only the promises you made toward getting something accomplished (the outcomes) not the details of the deliverables: we are looking to uncover the "What's" that prevents you from accomplishing your outcomes.

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