Accountability and/or Consequence

Workplace Accountability Development

Scott Howe

By: Scott Howe – January 2016

You hear it every day in the corporate world ‘we should make ‘them’ accountable’, or ‘if I was accountable for them I could…’ But I think there is a large component missing from this, and that component is consequence.

Accountability is almost a glib throwaway line that some people use to show willingness to do something more (or even just their job sometimes!) so they can secure that promotion, or a way for failing leaders to apportion work and accountability onto others.

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But accountability in my world of Change is not enough. I have worked with many different organisations of varying size and dynamic and from a massive spectrum of industry, but there are always similarities. When it comes to Change those similarities come back to a lack of willingness to actually do things differently. Simply adding accountability to the mix is not going to change much if anything at all.

But what if there were consequences? What if you were that person trying to be noticed in the pecking order within your organisation that kept saying “I could be accountable for…” and kept getting knocked back? What if you said “I’ll ensure x and y happens and if they don’t the consequence will be a and b”?

Not only are you offering up that you believe you are ready in all respects to move up, but you are also offering up that things will actually be different by way of measuring the actions of yourself/others which come alongside a consequence if you/they cannot meet that expectation.

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Consequence for inaction are far more powerful in terms of change than simply employing accountability. They go that bit further to ensure performance will be improved and that changes will occur.

Just think of the difference you could make if you were brave enough to offer consequence(s) to the accountability you discuss with your executive. It could really be the making of you and your business.

About the Author:

Since completing an 18 year career in Britain’s elite Royal Marines Commandos, Scott Howe has firmly established himself as one of Australia’s leading authorities on leadership and business transformation. A highly experienced business strategist who ‘operationalises’ business plans, he has extensive understanding of managing and delivering major transformation programs in both private and public sectors. In additional to these highly successful programs (including the unique ‘Commando Experience‘), Scott is a ‘C Suite’ mentor who appraises, counsels and rationalises ideas to realise business goals.

For more information on the solutions Scott provides and engaging his services, please contact or call 1300 746 287.

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