Achieving accountability in an agile world

March 6, 2014 1:42 pm

Achieving results with and through other people is a hallmark of great leadership. Organisations and leaders with highly accountable teams are positioned to overcome new challenges and accomplish sustainable business results.

But how do you inspire team members to be accountable when you are time-poor, managing a diverse and dispersed workforce, and the pace/complexity of change is accelerating?

Mindset shift is the key to creating a highly accountable team in a fast paced business. What many leaders don’t realise is that high team accountability is also conducive to higher engagement and individual wellbeing.

We are intrinsically motivated to make a worthwhile contribution; our highly social brains are wired that way. Additionally, having a sense of control and autonomy enables employees to tap into the more reflective/thoughtful part of their brains rather than the reactive/protective regions.

High accountability is most easily achieved when individual employees have more control/responsibility for holding themselves to account.

Leaders who partner with their employees to find the intersection between the goals of the organisation and those of the employee need to give their staff as much control as feasible to be in a position to reap the rewards of a self-accountable team.

BrainWise leaders are not intimidated by employees who know more than they do or those that have different approaches to work. In fact, they relish this diversity and work to uncover and leverage hidden perspectives and talents.

Likewise, leaders who are most effective in an agile work environment create opportunities for team members to build on each other’s experience and expertise.

Leaders boost individual coaching and development by cultivating a team/organisational culture that includes high trust, respect, transparency and achievement orientation.

Feeling safe is the foundation for strong and creative thinking and willingness to take responsibility. Building on this solid groundwork, leaders in collaboration with their teams can intentionally put into place the norms and expectations that are conducive to high performance.

Incorporating neuro-scientific findings pertaining to self-discipline, high performing teams, can shape their environment to make it easier to be productive. Clarity of purpose, healthy negotiation and cooperation about points of overlap and potential gaps, as well as the regular practice of brain-based collaboration methods, are essential habits for highly accountable and productive teams.
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