Many tiles of our verandah roof had broken, and the place was looking run down. Due to the pandemic, we had been putting off the repair work.
One morning when I stepped out, I found all broken and missing tiles replaced and the verandah looking beautiful. Later, I learned that the gardener, Ajay was working on them the previous day, and my husband assumed that I had instructed him to carry out the repair work. Guess what! I had not even mentioned it to Ajay. When Ajay came, I asked. He responded, “Madam, I had some time yesterday, not much work due to the rains. This was looking bad, and water is coming into the verandah, so I replaced them”. Ajay works as a gardener at our house, and this work is certainly not a part of his responsibilities!
What Ajay demonstrated here was a great sense of ownership. He perhaps felt empowered enough to source the tiles and fix them.
Often, business owners and managers voice their concerns about the lack of accountability and ownership in their teams. They would like to see Ajay like the sense of responsibility in each of their team members. Despite processes, command, and control, and incentivization in place, the ownership does not happen.
Here are some of the factors fixing which are likely to drive up team accountability and ownership.
Understanding and alignment with the purpose of the organization/project.
Clarity of self and other team members roles and responsibilities
Empowerment to hold each other accountable to meet the commitments made
Culture of appreciation and feedback
Clarity on Key Performance Indicators and linkage of employee’s responsibility/work with the same
Minimal and relevant metrics and data and cadence with rhythm around the KPIs
People with the right skills and attitude in jobs of their interest.
Provision for employees to develop new skills and capabilities
Trust and autonomy vs Micro-management and bureaucracy
What else would you add to the list?
Agile Coaches are key transformation agents when organizations look to pivot from traditional ways of working to Agile methods. Such transformations are sponsored by organizations for various reasons — competitive pressure, low employee engagement, as part of digital...
The word bureaucracy instantly invokes negative emotions in people. Most connect it to something slow or inefficient. Indeed, as Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini say in their 2018 HBR article, "Bureaucracy has few fans." But then, the question is - why do organizations...
A recent viral post on LinkedIn about a leading Indian low-cost airline highlighted what a lack of ownership culture could do to your brand. We discuss the case and explore how one could build organizational agility, a much-needed trait in these turbulent times, by creating a culture of ownership and accountability in their teams.