Soundview Executive Book Summaries


How Accountability Takes F.O.R.M.

Accountability. Now, there’s a word that can send a shiver up most of our spines. Even the most diligent worker can occasionally fall prey to a strange sense of inner paranoia. “Did I really make that deadline? Did I remember to attach that presentation in the e-mail I sent our biggest client?”

Roger Connors and Tom Smith, co-authors of The Oz Principle and its companion Journey to the Emerald City, want to help put at ease the minds of executives and employees everywhere. An accountability procedure often fails because it creates a culture of fear, where information is hidden to seemingly prevent punishment.

In Soundview’s upcoming November edition, we’ll be featuring How Did That Happen. This recent title from Connors and Smith helps executives create a culture where people are held accountable in a “positive, principled way.” To give subscribers additional insight on the book, Soundview interviewed Roger Connors last week. I was fortunate enough to hear the interview before our studio creates the final master recording. There was an interesting point Connors made that I couldn’t wait to share with you.

One common problem that employees frequently point out is that their company declares every goal a priority. Because of this, there isn’t a good way to actually rank the importance of various goals or the part of the goal for which each employee is responsible. Connors points out that there are certain “key expectations” that form the basis of every accountability chain. To define these key expectations, he suggests executives use the acronym FORM. A FORM expectation is one that is “Framable” (meaning, can it be framed?) “Obtainable” “Repeatable” and “Measurable.” This gives leaders a method of creating expectations that can be clearly communicated to anyone involved in a project or goal.

Our complete interview with Roger Connors, as well as our summary of How Did That Happen, will be available in the November 2009 edition of Soundview Executive Book Summaries. If you’re not currently a subscriber, this month is a great month to start! Visit us here for more information.

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