Creating an Excuse-Free Company

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Want to move beyond blame to a culture of accountability? Start with yourself.

That’s the first step toward creating an excuse-free company, according to Mike Staver, author of “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards.” It should begin with company leaders examining the fears that lead them to look for someone to blame when something goes wrong. If your organization can’t tolerate mistakes, employees won’t take risks, so you need to create an environment where mistakes are tolerated. And when you mess up, own it; don’t look for someone else to blame.

Give everyone in your company specific, measurable goals, and ask them to consider those goals as they make decisions. As clich├ęd as it sounds, get them thinking in terms of solutions, not problems.

Dissect outcomes with employees and ask them how decisions they made and actions they took helped or hurt their ability to achieve their goals. Ask questions like, “What did you do or not do that led to these results? If you could turn back the clock, what would you do more or less of? Of the things you controlled, which do you think contributed to this success/failure?”

And partner people in “accountability teams” that meet regularly to discuss progress.

Adapted from Seven Tips for Building a Culture of Accountability in Your Organization at IT Business Edge.