Accountability Tips

Accountability – its importance goes without saying, but can be extremely tricky to inculcate.  As  – the Innovation champion –  build a culture of Innovation, consider these methods:

  • Give Them Enough Rope To…: The natural tendency is to dictate terms – deadlines, methodologies, etc.  Let the team members decide upon the “how it’s going to get done” elements.  Should they go a bit off the track, you can always fine-tune.  Or, better yet, lead a discussion on how they can fine-tune.
  • It’s Expected: State clearly, from the outset, that the team members will be expected to develop the answers to work-related issues – it will be their responsibility.
  • We Know that You Know the Answers: Let your people come up with the solutions.  When someone comes to you with a question, ask them: “what’s your recommendation?”  They will find the answer.  And why not: you picked great people for your team, right?
  • Tread Lightly on the Gas Pedal: Initially, you may have to take a more overt role, in terms of direction, support.  Once they start “getting it” and build a confidence level, ease off on the throttle.  The knee-jerk reaction is to swoop in and save the day.  Force yourself to ease off.
  • Skinner Was Right: Positive reinforcement works wonders.  It’s downright frightening to brave failure and be held accountable.  When your team, or a team member, hits a home run, lavish praise is in order.  Encourage.  Reinforce.  It works wonders.

For more see “Robert’s Rules of Innovation” by Wiley, Spring 2010

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