5th Jul 2010
Using the Wikipedia definition Accountability is a concept often associated with answerability, enforcement, responsibility, liability and other terms with the expectation of account giving. In leadership roles accountability is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions and policies.
A shorter more concise definition might be Accountability is accepting responsibility and being accountable for your actions. Taking accountability for customer service in an organisation
Research undertaken by Treacy and Wiersema identified that there are 3 paths to market leadership:
Truly customer focused organisations build their strategy, culture people and processes to align with delivering the customer intimacy path, building a knowledge of the behaviours and preferences of their customer base and designing delivery strategies to optimise satisfaction and loyalty. The delivery of World Class differentiated service touches all parts of the organisation and in many successful organisations the responsibility for service delivery rests at Board level with a customer service director accountable for identified Key Performance Measures.
The ICS Model for World Class Service identifies 3 key dimensions for organisational success and management accountability:
An associated element of Strategy and Culture is Commitment, which refers to the service accountability in place at Senior Management level – defined, as “Service Quality is a key corporate value with associated goals, action programmes, measurement and top-level accountabilities”. Use of the ICS ServCheck diagnostic tool for internal assessment of service, will deliver employee views on:
All parts of the organisation and employees at all levels have a responsibility to deliver great service both internally to other colleagues or customers and externally to the end customer. Key Performance Indicators or Measures ensure that all employees are focused on the contribution being made locally to the bigger corporate goals around service performance and accountability. The example shown here is for a large Financial Service organisation and represents the hierarchy of measures or indicators from which performance can be tracked.
Regular reporting and discussion of results using key stakeholders from across the business maintains both focus and accountability for change. It also ensures that all stakeholders are involved with service measurement and the fit to the critical success factors for growth reputation and efficiency.
Research from the Council on Financial Competition — Climbing the Service Curve provides numerous Case Studies and examples on structures and responsibilities for managing service delivery and performance from a centralised unit to service councils.
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council voted Municipal Journal Best Council of The Year for 2007 believe that all 9000+ employees are leaders for transformational change. Chief Executive Janet Callender has led a change in leadership style that puts people at the heart of all they do by valuing them and recognising they are the key to success. The shift in leadership styles is represented in the table below.
Tameside use The ‘Engaging’ Transformational Leadership Model developed by Professor Beverley Alimo-Metcalfe of the Real World Group. The model puts personal qualities and core values at the heart of the business and is achieved by engaging individuals, the organisation and moving forward together behind a common shared vision. Collective responsibility creates an environment for creativity to flourish and results to follow.