The Single Wringable Neck

October 27, 2014

The quickest and best way to solve accountability problems, I’ve found, is to have a Single Wringable Neck.

Leaders and managers often make the mistake of sharing accountability for a particular action between two or more coworkers. When the action isn’t completed or done well, the blame game starts. Who did what and when? How did that affect or not affect the others’ work and the outcome as a whole? Rather than sort through this mess, leaders and managers can and should avoid it.

Even in cases where the work will be shared equally, assign responsibility to one person. That way you have one Single Wringable Neck.

Chances are you won’t have to wring that neck either, since that person will know it is his responsibility to ensure the action is completed on time and well. If he encounters problems along the way, he will be more likely to address them immediately than wait until the reporting date. When its their neck on the line, people tend to take the right and necessary actions.

In areas where your organization is experiencing accountability issues, make sure you have one Single Wring-able Neck.

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