Transform your Business Results by Eliminating the Twin Diseases of Blame and Excuses
Accountability and responsibility are two of the biggest concepts in all businesses everywhere post the economic recession and recovery. Business confidence and customer confidence is built on trust and respect. Whole industries as we have seen did not understand the concept of responsibility despite the fact that corporate social responsibility was on every annual statement as being very important.
Consider this conversation:
We’ve just lost that order’, explained the salesperson.
How the hell did that happen? I thought it was 100% certain,’ replied the Manager.
Yes, but the customer just rang to say he could take no more excuses or delays and was cancelling the order.Ð‚Ñœ
Who messed up this time?’
Don’t blame me. I did my job! I don’t really know that much about it. Talk to transport’.
Making excuses for yourself and blaming other people for situations and circumstances is the outward and obvious manifestation of a lack of responsibility.
‘Protecting your back’ or ‘covering your ass’ is what it’s called in more native language.
Making personal excuses as to why something is not done or blaming systems, procedures or other people is ultimately a self-protection strategy. When it becomes a negative habit pattern, however, it has long term negative effects on such basics as efficiency, speed of response, flexibility and results.
The ‘blame culture’ in many companies is a big inhibitor of exceptional performance.
Results suffer an inch at a time.
It can literally invade the psyche of your business almost like a cancer. A ‘them and us’ culture emerges, where management conveniently blame the employees and the employees blame management for a host of operational performance issues.
In the meantime, a sophisticated excuse making system develops to explain to frustrated customers why products, service processes, systems and procedures are not as promised. The bottom line is ‘it costs’ as much as 20-30% of your sales turnover.
Responsibility is the willingness and the ability of an individual, a group or a business to respond positively to day-to-day situations/circumstances and normal human interactions. Why is it the plague of the workplace and society? What can you do about it? Does the scenario above ring any bells for your business?
So, what is responsibility?
In a broader sense, responsibility means you are morally liable to be called to account for your actions.
Whether you are the boss, the sales department, or a whole company you are answerable. You are ‘response-able’.
It assumes you are trustworthy and morally accountable for all your actions, provided you are capable of rational thought.
Lack of responsibility is a virus capable of eating into the very fabric of your business even destroying it.
There are many forms of responsibility. However, everything starts with a sense of personal responsibility and then it broadens to group responsibility, corporate responsibility, community responsibility, government responsibility.
At every level there are explicit aspects of responsibility, which are more tangible and obvious to all concerned, and there are implicit levels of responsibility, which are more deep-rooted and embedded in the beliefs, attitudes and expectations of your thinking, or the culture of your company.
The issue of responsibility is at the very core of human performance, talent management, professional competency development, successful leadership, managerial effectiveness and organisational productivity.
It is absolutely critical to reaching your personal potential and doing your very best work as the boss, or as a manager, or as a responsible individual.