How’s that for a little topic to clear out in a blog post? I promise
this will be just a short thought… even though the title promise more
of a book.
Well, after the last couple of weeks at my work I just wanted to write
down a thought that I keep coming back too. I’m very proud to be part of
Army and right now we have a world wide leader (aka The General)
that I think talks about a lot of good things.
Here’s video with his latests message:
I like this message for a number of reasons, but the part that stands
out for me is "We know we are not perfect. We **want** to become better.
We start Now!" I like that kind of transparency and humbleness.
The keyword in the message is Accountability. I have a bit of a hard
time with that word as I think it sends a pretty harsh tone, but it
really comes back to where you start.
> Accountability - the quality or state of being accountable; especially
> : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account
> for one's actions (<http://www.merriam-webster.com/>)
### Trust and Authority
If I get the opportunity I'd often talk about Trust and Transparency. At
least before Accountability.
I find it very hard to demand Accountability if you haven't given Trust
first. And in giving Trust you have to give Authority too.
Give Trust without Authority is not Trust at al
don't know what it's called but it's not Trust.
Because with Trust comes a part belief and "taking a chance" on a
> "I trust you to handle this situation."
> "You handle this project - I know and trust that it will be great if
> you take care of it. "
If you add "but all decisions comes from me" at the end of those
statements I you have not only slowed down the process considerably but
also lied. You haven't given trust at all.
There's a saying in Swedish to describe a bad job situation: "I got all
the responsibility but no authority". If you think about it that's how
you treat slaves of prisoners. "Dig this hole! If it's not finished
within an hour I'll smack you on the head!"
But if you believe in the person to do good and Trust them you have now
only speed up the decision process but also empowered them to step up to
the challenge. Most people I've met step up to such challenges (or turn
them down in the first place). The take on the Accountability and try to
do their best with the Trust given to them.
### Accountability and Transparency
What about Accountability then? Yes, I think it's important of course
and it might be the formal part of who's actually doing what. "Who are
accountable for this project?" This needs to be decided and know in
order to have organisational clarity.
But I also think that there's another mechanism that we can implement,
much easier, that will make Accountability happen automatic, more or
Transparency means that we try to make information more visible and more
known to more and more people in our organisation. In a fully
transparent organisation everyone could know everything they wanted.
This doesn't mean that no one is in charge, you will still have people
leading and focusing on certain parts and not on others. We can still
hold people accountable for the Trust we've given them. And we should
that. But we need not to **demand** Accountability - it's there by the
virtue of the information being known to everyone that wants to.
Oh by the wa, Transparency also gives
- faster decisions
- less corruption
- less gossip
- more involvement
- better loyalty
if you're into those kind of things.
I don't have a problem with Accountability, but I much rather start with
Trust and Transparency. Then Accountability comes automatically.
I've written before about Commitment
and I think those ideas brush on this