Articles and posts about holding individuals and teams accountable for success

Check your work, or else

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in Accountability, Computerworld Columns | 0 comments

I often wish I had a time machine so I could go back and prevent technical people from taking their first step toward client relationship hell — where all interactions are tainted by the sense of mutual discomfort and mistrust that often emerges when geeks mix with business people. It frequently starts with one small, wholly unnecessary misstep. One of the most common complaints I hear from business people about us geeks is that we deliver things that don’t work. You might be thinking that I mean “don’t work” as in “don’t meet some unarticulated...

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How to Make Your People Accountable

Posted by on Sep 13, 2010 in Accountability | 1 comment

“How do I make my people more accountable?” As a management consultant, I get this question all the time. In fact, I’d have to say that in general, making people more accountable is one of the top aspirations of technical managers. So it’s worth answering the question here are simply as I can. Here it goes: You can’t make your people accountable. Get over it. It’s that simple. Here’s what you can do: Threaten them. Bully them. Micromanage them. Beg them. Offer them incentives. Praise them. But none of these things produces accountability. The list...

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Accountability vs. Blame

Posted by on Sep 9, 2010 in Accountability | 0 comments

I’ve discovered that most of the time, when executives tell me that “what we need around here is more accountability,” what they really mean is, “I need to know who I should blame when things go wrong.” The sentence that usually follows implies that without accountability, no one will do what it takes to meet deadlines, deliver quality products or succeed in general. Just below the surface, the assumption behind this thinking is that fear of blame — or at least fear of the consequences associated with blame — is an effective motivator. If your goal as...

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