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  • Writer's pictureSherry

Culture of Accountability – Best Advice from Tammy Sicard, PhD

At our most recent HRoundtable event, we had the pleasure of learning from Tammy Sicard, PhD, Founder & CEO of The Partnership Advantage.

Prior to the meeting, participants were asked via a survey: out of connections, consistency, and commitment, which would you focus on if your success were guaranteed, and why? Connection came out on top as the area to focus on. Tammy said this can be demonstrated through connections between: • People to people • People to work • Work to work

A four-quadrant model was presented to show the interrelatedness between the following aspects of accountability & self-leadership: • Individual/Tangible: individual roles, goals, skills • Tangible/Collective: structure, policies/procedures, systems, processes • Collective/Intangible: norms, assumptions, beliefs, patterns • Intangible/Individual: meaning, identity, inner experience

To put this four-quadrant model to use, participants were asked to think of their “2 a.m. initiative” (what keeps you up until 2 a.m.?) Then identify its purpose, the key players/partners on whom success will depend, identify one of the three connections above on which success will depend, and finally, take the 2 a.m. initiative through each of the four quadrants.

To create a culture of accountability, four questions need to be answered: 1. What is it? 2. What does it look like in action? 3. What are the intrinsic qualities we associate with people who choose accountability? 4. What are the individual and organizational barriers to accountability? Five conversations (not just being talked at, but authentic conversations) that drive accountability and performance: 1. Create shared purpose (awareness) 2. Develop connections (alignment) 3. Make tradeoff decisions (action) 4. Address disconnects (action) 5. Choose interdependence: dependent upon and accountable to one another (accountability) Accountability does not come first in this process; the other elements should be addressed first.

We were encouraged to consider taking small steps rather than huge change at once.  It can start with a small pilot. Find a starting place within the company where you can experiment.  Maybe it is where silos exist and then see if that is contributing to more "make-work" than you would like.  This is a great place to start with building awareness and then move to possibilities and action.

“There are no recipe or formulae, no checklist or advice that describes ‘reality’. There is only what we create through our engagement with others and with events”- Meg Wheatley

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