The best cultures value, among other things, accountability and the measurements that enable it, not as a stick, but as a means to assess progress toward continuous renewal.
Of course, there must be ultimate accountability for end results, sales for example. Such a focus, if singular, as it often is, however, fails to consistently reveal the underlying barriers to sustained results. Often further obscuring these barriers are reward and recognition programs which compensate people, in whole or substantial part, for an end result to which they cannot relate their daily work.
A culture of accountability which fosters continuous improvement has the following characteristics:
- Measure what you do – not everything, but key points and processes along the buying cycle in all parts and at all levels of the organization
- Constantly use what is learned through measurement to improve performance
- Recognize and reward improvement for both direct impact on what individual and groups of people can control, and for contribution to the ultimate end result
Management must consider creating and nurturing such a culture its job.