Consider this: accountability is the next frontier in entrepreneurship and small business. Particularly in small and medium business, accountability starts strong in the beginning, when there are just a few people, then dips, as the company grows, and then rises again as the growth continues.
What is accountability? I’d like to say that it’s common knowledge, we all know it when we see it. That’s probably not good enough though, so perhaps we can say it’s a matter of setting expectations specifically, and tracking responsibility for results.
I wish I had the data to prove it. I don’t. I’ve talked to a lot of people about it. I’ve seen it in a lot of different companies, for several years. But, although the chart here may look as if it’s the result of academic research, it’s not; just purely conceptual.
This is what I think is happening:
As I consider this, it seems like a natural phenomenon, a function of the way people work in groups. It also seems like the loss of accountability becomes worse as time goes by and as change accelerates, modifying our ways of working together. We have tools to make us more productive, so we move data faster; but do we have tools to make us more accountable?
No, probably not … accountability isn’t a matter of tools, it’s a matter of behavior. At the core, it’s people who set expectations, track results, and hold other people responsible. And that’s tough.