Accountability in Business: Changing Mediocrity into Excellence


by on Nov 7, 2019 3:53 PM

Accountability in Business Changing Mediocrity into Excellence

I hear about ‘Accountability in Business’ over and over. To be clear, I hear the concern about accountability not existing in organizations and the desire by owners to embed it into their culture. But what exactly is accountability? From my perspective, it is the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

Accountability in business starts at the top. Leadership defines the culture of the organization. If leadership is unwilling to confront issues or uses passive-aggressive behavior and empty threats to derive change, then the organization’s culture will shift toward mediocrity. On the other hand, an organization can move towards excellence when everyone:

  • Naturally & respectfully challenges the clarity of an answer
  • Defines an action with identified responsibilities and due dates
  • Clearly states expectations for individuals and groups
  • Implements consequences for missed commitments

To improve accountability in business or any organization, the leader must take the initial steps to not accept mediocrity and to address issues head on, even if it creates tension. Healthy conflict or tension between two or more people is foundational to building accountability into an organization because it involves correction, adaptation and results. Simply demanding excellence or wanting mediocrity to go away just doesn’t get the job done. Nothing will improve without first stepping through healthy conflict or tension.

Interestingly, employees often respond well to an emphasis on accountability. Structure, feedback, and consistency allow employees to better understand what is expected of them. As you plan to attract and develop talent, expressing accountability as a value might be enticing.

At Trilogy Partners, we’ve seen many companies struggle with accountability. Believe me, I had to learn the hard way how to really improve the culture of my own organization starting with accountability for everyone (including myself). If you’re struggling on how to hold your team accountable, contact us for a free consultation. I know we can help.


About Hal Levenson

Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform.  We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People.