Who to blame? – Accountability

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When we think about Accountability, we think about “blame” and that is just wrong. Accountability entails responsibility, this includes success or failure.

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

This quote has been attributed to a lot of authors from George Burns, Stanisław Jerzy Lec, to even Voltaire. Now who is accountable for this great quote?

Accountability is a concept that everyone in the industry needs to have a strong grasp to. But if there’s book on Professional Ethics, it would not probably go on the first few pages or be dedicated a whole chapter on it. And why is that? Well, maybe because its a boring topic. Accountability is considered to be “you should know that” or a trait that we are expected to grow up with. Certainly, there is not a lot of normal people talking about accountability in a professional setting. Accountability has become a very bad word, just like the word “memo”.

Fewer people seem to care about accountability anymore. When a company has a failed product, a few people seems to care why it failed. And if its enough of a big issue, there would be a “blame game”. And usually, its the lower responsibility people who gets blamed even though they know very little or sometimes absolutely nothing about it. They are the “Escape Goats”.

“Acountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result”

-Bob Proctor

Why is accountability important?Accountability maintains a fair and appropriate treatment of employees. If something happens, you’ll never give credit to the wrong guy. It also ensures processes are going as efficiently as possible. Accountability gives rise to respect and encourages people to stretch their capability.

Now, how does this affect you? Whether you own a start up, a manager for a big company, or a low-level employee, there’s a lot to be gained in knowing Accountability. Accountability entails responsibility. You need to make sure that you understand the process of your job. Do you know who handles which? Who is working on something? What is supposed to be the end result? What is it going to be used for? Having a detailed responsibility tree will give you a better idea on how to optimize your business and tell you what is the weakest link on your project. You can then optimize it to your liking. Also, you can be sure that you will be able to find who is accountable for which. That’s tip #1. I could give you a whole lot to read but I am certain that you’ll want the short path, so here’s 5 tips to Accountability in your business.

1) Organization Chart – Every business have it. It helps with the whole “who does this?” ordeal.

2) Giving clear and concise directions – You don’t need a 102 page request for something mundane.

3) Make sure everyone is doing their job – No, I am not talking about going to their stall and start lecturing about how they are not doing their job enough. I am talking about something like “Hey Mike, how’s the thing I told you a week ago doing? Are you having trouble with it?” kind of stuff.

4) Who is the weakest link? – An organization is a chain that is tied to something important. When it gets heavy, it will break at the weakest link. Time to find the weakest link and give attention on how to remedy it.

5) You’re probably at fault too – No, its not the guy doing the typing job. Do not forget that you are not omnipotent.

Accountability is becoming a dead issue. No one seems to care anymore. But trust me, it is an unspoken ethics everyone in the professional industry understands.


Jon Marco Reyes

Marco is a self-proclaimed "geek" and only has a bit of knowledge of what you are talking about. He's constantly curious and wants to know everything. However, he is also easily distracted by his hobbies. In effect, Jon Marco has become a "Jack of all trade, master of none" kind of person. Someone who has an idea of being creative and being technical. He's a College student finishing his Bachelors in Computer Engineering.

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