By Ron Dearinger
Webster’s Dictionary defines accountability as “subject to having to report, explain, or justify: being answerable, responsible.” The Oz Principle (2) redefines accountability as, “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.” Additionally, the Oz Principle espouses the idea that accountability is most effective when people in an organization share ownership of circumstances and results. This is an aspect the customary definition of accountability fails to take into account as it assigns sole responsibility to the individual without acknowledging the shared accountability that typifies organizational behavior.
Just like Dorothy’s search for the Wizard of Oz for enlightenment, individuals and organizations also seek out the wizard that will save them from the maladies that afflict their workplace. However, the wizard is just a distraction. And, just as the characters in the famous story ultimately discover that their victim mentality was their greatest stumbling block and that their heart’s desire was always within reach, the authors exhort individuals, work teams and organizations to rise above the thin line that separates high performance and delighted patients from organizational and individual mediocrity.
Above The Line, you’ll find the Steps to Accountability which include in chronological order: See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It. The first step, “See It”, means acknowledging the problem; to “Own It” is to assume responsibility for the problem and the results; “Solve It” means to formulate solutions to remedy the situation; and, as a culminating step, “Do It” commands the practical application of the solutions identified.
Below The Line is where the self-professed victims play the blame game. Here, crippling...