Tuesday, August 6, 2019

AccountabilityVsResponsibility

The words Accountability and Responsibility both carry somewhat esteemed connotations in social discourse.  I've recently been pondering their meanings, and differences.

Accountability's features:

  • Some Others determine that certain performance standards and/or behaviors MUST be met.
  • Some Others decide that those performance standards or behaviors will likely occur only if sufficiently rewarded when achieved, or punished when compliance is absent.
  • Some Others apply said rewards or punishments to induce the desired outcomes.
Responsibility's features:
  • We or a group of like-minded and valued others determine that certain performance standards and/or behaviors are worthy of personal or collective commitment and completion.
  • We or a group of like-minded and valued others decide that those performance standards and/or behaviors will be achieved as result of their rightness.
  • We or a group of like-minded and valued others continually modify and adjust our performance/behaviors to achieve the desired outcomes.
When the case has not been sufficiently made for the worthiness of a particular outcome, then Accountability measures must presumably be invoked.

It's really a Push vs Pull thing, but perhaps making a compelling case for Responsibility holds better promise than applying the oppressive tools of Accountability.

The stuff of effective leadership, I think.


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