Alan Mullaly explains how the executive team at Ford Motor Company changed to a culture of accountability.
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Viewpoint on Creating a Culture of Accountability
True accountability needs a culture of trust and openness and it is up to the leader to put in place the following necessary conditions: safety, clarity of purpose, trust, and an environment where responsibility is valued. Talking about accountability without such conditions in place will cause people to go into a mode of self-protection rather than initiative.
When teams are struggling it is important to keep in mind that the first three basic conditions need to addressed right from the start if any effort to change how people interact and behave is to be successful. The fourth condition needs to develop soon after in the follow-up meetings where performance is tracked against commitments. The team must collectively practice how to hold open candid conversations where problems are acknowledged and it is safe to ask for help, before a culture of accountability can begin to take root. Allowing risk-taking and therefore failure also needs to be factored into the equation.
With a leader able to uphold the necessary practices, a new culture can begin to show results in a matter of weeks. Our approach shifts struggling teams into high performing teams by quickly developing the team’s ability to reinforce its culture of accountability. If interested in exploring your situation with us please contact us here.