Accountability in Action
Have you ever been white water rafting? It is a thrill-a-minute adventure. You never know what is around the next bend in the river. There are rocks along the way and the path can be treacherous, filled with whirlpools and waterfalls. You just hope to enjoy to ride and come out the other side safe and dry. Depending on your personality, this can be a fun and exhilarating way to blow off some steam. But in the world of business, I personally prefer smooth sailing. Picture a glassy surface of water and the wind in your sails. You know what to do to get you where you want to go and you have the power to get there.
I can’t stress this enough: without accountability, your practice will go on a white water ride and it will not be fun! Systems will dissolve, and standards will break down against the jagged rocks of adversity. If everyone in your office is not holding themselves and others accountable for their actions, for the processes in place, and for ensuring the systems are followed, there will be nothing but buck-passing and chaos. Everyone in the practice, from the owner to the newest employee, needs to step up and rise to the challenge. This is the foundation of a great practice. When your entire team operates through transparency and accountability, they form a cohesive unit focused on growth, service, and amazing patient outcomes.
Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management is your guide to the culture of accountability in every aspect of you practice!
When you assign responsibility for measured result to an individual (or a clearly specified group of individuals) to create and incentive for performance, you are creating a culture of accountability. It is not just doing a job. Accountability includes the obligation to make things better, to pursue excellence, and to achieve results.
The key to a true culture of accountability is that EVERYONE in the practice is accountable. In entirely too many offices there is an unbalanced dynamic in which only the managers hold team members accountable. But in high-performing offices, team members hold themselves and each other accountable for achieving their goals, for completing their job duties, and for following through on their commitments. This is the culture we are striving for. Team members are focused on results together and success is sure to follow!
So, in order to build the whole of the culture, let’s take a look at each element individually and see how the pieces fit together. I break it down into three distinct concepts that build on each other and work together to create the overall accountability. These three areas are: self, team, and management.
- Self – Everyone in the office must hold themselves accountable and be responsible. When staff members take ownership, and understand their role in the practice, they hold themselves accountable for their actions, responsibilities, and goals. They know, appreciate, and own their position, and recognize the important role they play in the practice and in the lives of the patients.
- Team – Your staff practices self-accountability, and they come together as a cohesive team. The best teams can identify an issue, work toward a resolution, decide on a course of action, and execute a plan to resolve the issue. They hold each other accountable, knowing that each member of the team plays an essential role in overall success.
- Management – When the elements of self-accountability and team accountability are firmly in place, the manager is in a prime position to execute her role as leader. Successful and accountable management is specific in the expectations, clearly stating: “This is WHAT I want you to do. This is HOW I want it to be done. This is WHEN I need to have it completed.”
As with all important qualities of success, accountability doesn’t just happen because you want it to. You must actively work on a daily basis to create and maintain this positive and motivating atmosphere and Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management is your guide. Leave the thrill seeking, whirlpools and waterfalls where they belong, and smoothly sail the path to a culture of accountability. I promise, the thrill and exhilaration of success is even better!