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Free Resources for Building Accountability in your Culture without Leaving Dead Bodies in the Road

by Henry Evans-Managing Partner

Our team at Dynamic Results wishes you a very happy new year. Last year we delivered our Accountability Method to organizations, business schools, and government agencies in many parts of the world.

We’re starting this year by giving you a quick video reminder with some ideas around how you can be a model of accountability in your organization. Watch the video and then learn more by visiting our book page.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

See the reason you got these negative feelings and connotations around the whole word accountability is that we’ve all been raised to think of accountability as a punitive process. After a relationship or project has failed, we go see who we can blame and that’s what accountability is. We want to change that. It’s actually our mission as a company to change that. That that’s how it is learned and that’s how it’s conducted but it’s not the place it has in organizations.

So when you learn English or whatever your first language was, it took you five to seven years to learn that language. It took five to seven years for your mind to form these neuron paths that help connect the meaning and structure of sentences and words so you can use them to communicate with other people.

I’m going to take that five to seven year process and explain it in about thirty seconds. And I’m going to feed you the language of accountability in about thirty minutes.

Ambiguity is a predictor of future failure. Now, I’m not talking about a creative process. If you’re doing brainstorming, you want to be as ambiguous and as open ended as you can be, we do that with our clients at the beginning of a strategic planning process, but when you’re turning that plan into actions, we need clarity, clarity that a third person could understand.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I laid this out perfectly clearly, but these idiots didn’t get it.” Have you ever let that narrative run inside your head? It ain’t them, it’s you. Once you accept that leadership role, you got the job of being clear. That’s your job. I tell you what accountable commitments should feel like. They should make you nervous. When you’re communicating this to a second person, you should nervous like “Oh man, I really have to do this now.”

That same feeling you used to get when you weren’t an officer and your boss came and said, “You gotta do this.” And you got the feeling of “Oh man, I’m on the hook.”

My clients who tend to outperform their competitors are very good at self-generating that feeling. Now I’m not talking about getting angst and getting a heart attack. I’m not talking about being miserable. I’m talking about having a good healthy nervousness around the commitment that you’re making. It’s a way to measure if it’s real or not. It’s real, it’s here (points to his stomach). It’s not here (points to his head). And the organizations that tend to outperform the competition have a good fire burning here, in the belly. They can feel that.

Enjoy, and as always visit the Dynamic Results book page to see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to these insights..

Stay close to us as this year as we will be rolling out new ways for you to access the method that is helping our clients outperform their competition.

For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

Our best to you in this new year.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Reflections: Creating Accountability with Emotional Intelligence

by Henry Evans – Managing Partner

Most miscommunications and relationship challenges are caused by a lack of clarity on the front end of your communications. In our book, “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”, we address this common challenge.

Once we feel we have communicated an idea well, we often move on without any validation. In this video, we give you two ways to get reflection in an Emotionally Intelligent way and in a way which will increase the accountability of your interaction.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

Hi, I’m Henry Evans. Founder and Managing Partner at Dynamic Results. And today I’m going to talk to you about one aspect of our accountability method called Reflection.

Our accountability method based on our book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” is being embraced by multi-national organzations and MBA schools worldwide. One aspect of it is this idea of reflection. And Reflection is getting a comment back from someone you’re trying to convey a message to about what they heard. We believe the effect of your communication is measured the result of the people listening to you. It is not measured by your own self assessment. And we think they will act upon what they understood rather than what you said.

There are two primary ways of getting reflection from people:

The first one we feel is a little demeaning, particularly to people who are smart and capable. The second we feel has a much greater basis on emotional intelligence, but let’s look at the first one.

The first one would for me to convey and for me to ask you something like, “What did I just say?”. Do you feel a little insulted by that? I feel a little insulting when I ask that.

The second way which we think would be much more emotionally intelligent would be to be vulnerable and leave it in the realm of possibility that I didn’t even convey my idea very clearly in the first place. And that would sound like this, “You know I know what I meant to say just know, but what did you hear?”

Vulnerability according to the table group, is a conduit to trust and trust is the foundation to all relationships. So we like that way of checking in better for reflection than the first one.

And yet an even better way of getting reflection would be to say, “You know we discussed a lot of things during this meeting, but what are the action items that we’re taking away from this meeting? What are we going to do as a result of what we just said?” That’s another emotionally intelligent way of getting reflection back from people.

As always, we’re trying to give you quick, concise ways to improve your business, communications, and your business results.

Enjoy, and as always see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to the book by clicking here:

Dynamic Results Book Page

Stay close to us as this year as we will be rolling out new ways for you to access the method that is helping our clients outperform their competition.

For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Threat Assessment in 3 Easy Steps

In this blog, we take you through the three most common levels of threats and which type of response is required for each one. By understanding which threats may impede your strategic planning activities, you know how and when to respond to them.

Enjoy, and as always see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to the book by clicking here:

Dynamic Results Book Page

Stay close to us as this year as we will be rolling out new ways for you to access the method that is helping our clients outperform their competition.

For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability into their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

Hi, I’m Henry Evans, Change Excellence Officer at Dynamic Results. Today I’m going to talk to you about risk assessment or I think if we put it in more pragmatic terms: Threat Assessment. You’re probably used to hearing us talk about softer subjects like emotionally intelligent leadership, and how to build accountability in your culture. But we’re helping an organization help execute their strategic plan, you can do that using a method we’ve developed. It’s based on our book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” and it helps organizations declare and move toward their desired destinations in the future. As part of that process, they need to think about all the threats and obstacle that might get in the way of implementing that plan, and we want our clients to have a systematic way of thinking about these threats and prioritizing them so that they allocate the right things at the right time.

We think that these threats can be categorized into three basic categories:

The first one we call Incubating. An incubating one is a threat that may not yet be visible, but you have some data or an idea or you just have some intuitive feeling that tells you it may be a threat to your plan. And we think that in those cases you should be looking at them.

The next higher level of threat is what we call Emerging Threat. This is a threat that has manifested but may not be affecting your organization at this time. An example might be that you see a trend emerging in the marketplace that is adversely affecting some of your competitors that you’ve staved off so far but you know will come and get you at some point.

The highest level of threat is an Acute Threat. So to use a quick metaphor, if I were in a restaurant, and there was a guy on the other side of the room and maybe I thought or it was some feeling that he was just going to come across the room and punch me in the face, we would call that an incubated threat, it has not manifested. But if the guy gets up and starts moving or saying things in a threatening manner, we would call that an emerging threat. Now, if he comes up and actually swings and connects, then that’s an acute threat. I’m now being impacted by a threat; that’s the most severe kind.

We think there’s an appropriate level of response for each of these escalating levels of threat. So, if you see that you have an incubated threat, we’d like to see you use what we call a preventative measure. This might mean you start a negotiation or discussion you aren’t currently in, and it means you collect more data and start to investigate it.

If you have an emerging threat, you do something to resolve it. It might mean you take away a resource that’s causing it, or you add resources that could help mitigate it.

If you have the acute level of threat, that you’re actually being impacted, we want you to do something that acts accordingly, something that involves immediate action. This is something that means changing your position so you’re not in the same vulnerable state. To back to that fighting metaphor, if somebody were to swing at me, I’d want to be moving out of the way to avoid that punch. We would want you to do that with your organization, make a move, change something tangibly. This might mean you can’t do an adequate amount of research, it might mean you won’t know all there is to about the problem.

We are always trying to give you quick, concise ways to improve your business, and we hope we’ve done that now. We looking forward to speaking with you again.

Learn more about threat assessment within a culture of accountability.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Accountability in Action: How One Company President Applied Our Method for Building Accountability in Their Culture

By Bob Irish (recently retired)
For more information on the accountability method discuss, read our book.

A client reminded me of a firm I worked for more than thirty years ago where there was a lot of activity, people were very busy, sales were mediocre, but the profits were not what they should have been. There were too many employees trying to accomplish the same task while other tasks went unattended. Everyone was expected to get “the job done,” and all worked hard at doing that. The firm eventually went bankrupt. The next firm I worked at grew, developed excellent margins and thrived in a difficult economy. What made the difference between the organization that went bankrupt and the current company that thrived? Accountability. Initially, both of the companies lacked this key concept.

When I accepted the assignment with the second firm, Henry Evans’ excellent book “Winning with Accountability, The Secret language of High Performing Organizations” was not available. When the book was published, I read it and knew immediately it was the missing ingredient in every company I had ever encountered. In too many companies, accountability is associated with negative consequences. In Winning with Accountability, the four key pieces to solving the accountability puzzle are about producing positive communication and results.

To integrate accountability into the fabric of this current corporation’s culture, I took several specific steps.

  • I appointed myself CAO, Chief Accountability Officer
  • Everyone in the company received a copy of Winning with Accountability
  • Employees were dispersed into accountability groups to discuss real-time challenges and best practices
  • We wall mounted framed accountability posters in all of our conference rooms
  • We set everyone’s expectation, from the Chairman of the Board down, that accountability training was not a flavor of the month fad. As an organization we were going to learn true accountability
  • We practiced applying the four key principles (outlined in the book) until we were well-grounded in the practicality and application of this important concept.
  • When a new employee joined the team, they were given a copy of Winning with Accountability and mentored by the rest of the team.
  • Each employee carried the accountability wallet card behind their ID badge in their lanyard

Over time, team members learned and applied all four principles in Winning with Accountability, and they became a winning team – a team as well coordinated on the field of business as any professional sports team. Working together in an environment of clear expectations and specific goals, objectives, and requirements became second nature.

The result of adopting Winning with Accountability as our “field manual for success” exceeded my expectations. Today, company morale is high, turnover is nil and teamwork is the norm. Mistakes are dramatically down, duplication of effort is gone and profits are at an all time high. Margins are up more than eighteen percent in less than three years. During an economic recession, the company enjoys its greatest profitability without having to resort to layoffs to polish the bottom line. Best of all, employees own accountability. They do not need management to hold them accountable for consistently practicing the principles in Winning with Accountability; in fact, the reverse is true. Employees hold management accountable by expecting company leadership to practice winning with accountability.

About Bob Irish

Bureaucrat-in-Residence (Ret). Bob is a recently retired CEO for hire. Recently he left the helm of a company that grew 3x during his 5 year tenure as CEO. He contacted our Managing Partner, Henry Evans, to discuss the impact of our method on their company and as a result of that discussion, agreed to allow the use of his testimonial in the form of this article.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Want to learn how our accountability method can be used to improve your organization? Read our book.