An important element of building a lean culture in your workplace is building accountability into your infrastructure. This can happen in the form of daily huddles, visual management boards, rounding, staff meetings, and project meetings, among others. Fundamentally, accountability means you are answerable and responsible for what you say and do. Diving deeper, to be answerable and responsible, you have to know what you’re being answerable and responsible to. For yourself, you may be able to easily define these things. For your staff, they need your help in defining them.
Elements of Accountability
Identify Success. The first step in being accountable, is knowing what success looks like. If your people don’t know the destination, they may drift off course. This means consistently defining what good outcomes mean for your team.
Communicate more than you think you need to. Ensure that your team has the information they need to make good decisions. Provide clear and attainable goals and expectations. Leave no room for your team to need to read between the lines. When you’re ambiguous, you invite conflict into the team dynamics.
Be compassionate. Help those around you when you see they need help.
Respect your naysayers. The age-old 80-20 rule will apply here. 80% of your time will be taken up by 20% of your people. While this is true, keep your perspective in check. You want to invite the naysayers and those resisting change to talk privately. Usually, if they have a clearer understanding of the goals, or you can assuage fear of change, you can get them on board.
Look in the mirror. The manager creates the culture of the workplace and the team will mirror the willingness and attitude of management. Know yourself and where your limits are. Ask if you surround yourself with people who augment your leadership capabilities and skillset? Do you ask for help when needed?
Be consistent. There is nothing employees will pick up on more quickly than management inconsistency.
Have the courage of your convictions.If you believe in something, live it. If you are pushing Lean in your organization, go all in. If you hold back, your team will notice, and they will hold back as well. And that will hold your Lean progress back.