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March 21, 2019

Though it seems strange to say, how far $1MN goes depends largely upon the hands in which it lands.  I would bet a large sum that my mother would make it stretch and compound so the effects last a lifetime.  This guy, on the other hand, not so much: 

At the core of the quest to raise capital and increase revenues is an unspoken question.  Rarely, however, do we deconstruct the meaning of accountability.  Instead of focusing exclusively on which “what” strategies are necessary to achieve a 10 or 20x growth, what we ought to ask is: how will you remain accountable?

So, this week we’re diving into three instances of situational accountability that most, if not, all entrepreneurial leaders will encounter.

Newsflash: there is an “I ” in team and it’s you.  While teams make use of numerous management tools to achieve operational homeostasis, from a flat culture to RACI,  you still remain accountable to those whom you lead and those who lead you. 

In his article, The Fourth Bottom Line’ – Human Capital Accountability, Ulrick Juul Christensen implores organizations to focus more intentionally (and transparently) on their most valuable and strategic asset: people.  This means enabling their employees to acquire the skills, character and knowledge necessary to thrive an ultra technology enhance workplace.  It also means creating space for bold experimentation, failure in the pursuit of innovation, and bravery in the form of tough conversations.   In this sense, what efforts have you made to transition “human capital into human equity?”  

Since we started off talking about dollars and cents, we can’t forget the customer!  We owe it to our consumers to focus on quality.  But how?  Yes, we can measure satisfaction and net promoter scores, but what level of accountability actually brings us stratospheric success? 

On this point, I’m inspired by our neighbours across the pond. In a study of the Dutch Consumer Quality Index, researchers explore the role of stakeholder involvement in development indicators of consumer quality, specifically in the health care context.  Have you ever asked your end user to play a role in defining what works best for them?  If not, now might be the right time start.

Finally, accountability begins and ends with self.  Irrespective of your role within an organization, hopefully you have articulate goals that are uniquely yours.  Therefore, it is unlikely that those who approach your work or role from other perspectives will truly understand the nuances of your target outcomes or vision.   Yet, being responsible for executing your target outcomes or goals often means being accountable to other people.  This is what Jurgen Appelo aptly describes as being “responsible for your own agreement to be held account by someone else.”  As we near the end of the Q1, consider asking: is your lack of accountability is blocking your own path or that of another?


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