Team Accountability – Workshop 1 (Introduction to DTW)
The Appleton Greene Corporate Training Program (CTP) for Team Accountability is provided by Mr. Teschner MBA BA Certified Learning Provider (CLP). Program Specifications: Monthly cost USD$2,500.00; Monthly Workshops 6 hours; Monthly Support 4 hours; Program Duration 12 months; Program orders subject to ongoing availability.
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Learning Provider Profile
Mr. Teschner is a transformational Leadership Coach and Trainer and Founder & CEO of VMax Group. VMax Group is a St Louis-based Leadership Development company specializing in teaching accountable leadership and high-performing teamwork to businesses across the globe. VMax Group has centered much of its signature training around the proper practice of Accountability. Real Accountability—positive, forward-focused Accountability centered around the process of taking Absolute Ownership for the outcomes the team achieves—is something Mr. Teschner and his team lived during their collective time as member of high-performance military teams. Now they’ve made it their mission to teach what they know to those who need to learn it.
A decorated graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Air University, and the National War College, Mr. Teschner is also both a Distinguished Graduate and former F-15 Instructor at the USAF Weapons School – the Air Force version of “TOP GUN”. It was there that he honed his craft of teaching accountable leadership to the top practitioners in the world. Additionally, Mr. Teschner was privileged to command an operational F-22 “Raptor” squadron, flying America’s most advanced air supremacy platform. Mr. Teschner was ultimately honored to be promoted to the rank of full Colonel but retired early as a result of a battle with colon-rectal cancer. Mr. Teschner has over 20 years of hands-on leadership experience in High-Performance, High-Reliability Organizations and brings all of that experience with him wherever he speaks, teaches or coaches.
Mr. Teschner has a special way of connecting with his audiences, blending high-impact stories of fighter aviation and personal humility to achieve the intended outcome. In addition, his story of his personal fight with cancer serves as the launch pad for talks about humility, growth, motivation, and constant improvement. Mr. Teschner is the author of the #1 bestselling book, Debrief to Win: How High-Performing Leaders Practice Accountable Leadership, and released his newest bestselling book Aiming Higher: A Journey Through Military Aviation Leadership, a book co-authored with 4 other former Air Force pilots, in May of 2022. His next book, Building Resilience, is due out in the Spring of 2023.
This is the Vistage workshop – our current core product – delivered over the course of 6 hours. Outcome: understanding of where we’re going. Tools: VMG Pre-workshop assessment. Desired Learning Objectives: We understand what Accountability truly is and how it’s practiced. We know the definition of both a Team, and a High-Performance Team. We understand the basic outline of the “F-4 Debrief” methodology. We understand the High-Performance Team Lifecycle. We understand Mission Command and Commander’s Intent.
01. Understanding Accountability: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Accountability Roadmap: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Pre-Assessment: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Debriefs Explained: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Mission Command: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Commander’s Intent.: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Building Teams: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. High-Performance Teams: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Common Barriers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Creating Culture: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Accountable Leaders: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Team Dynamic: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Understanding Accountability: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Accountability Roadmap: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Pre-Assessment: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Debriefs Explained: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Mission Command: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Commander’s Intent.: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Building Teams: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. High-Performance Teams: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Common Barriers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Creating Culture: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Accountable Leaders: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Team Dynamic: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Understanding Accountability.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Accountability Roadmap.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Pre-Assessment.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Debriefs Explained.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Mission Command.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Commander’s Intent.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Building Teams.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze High-Performance Teams.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Common Barriers.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Creating Culture.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Accountable Leaders.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Team Dynamic.
How to integrate accountability into your company culture
Lack of accountability makes it impossible to build a high-performing team.
Simply said, things don’t get done when no one takes responsibility for making decisions, handling problems, and fixing them.
When someone accepts accountability, they do so for their own decisions. It involves taking the initiative and realising that people have the ability to both cause and solve problems. We’ll get into what accountability looks like at work, why it’s critical, and how to incorporate it into your culture in this article.
• What exactly does accountability mean at work?
• What occurs at work when there is a lack of accountability?
• How do you demonstrate responsibility at work?
• Making responsibility a cornerstone of your culture in 7 simple steps
• Bonus section: Accountability for coworkers
What exactly does accountability mean at work?
Every employee must take responsibility for their actions, behaviours, output, and decisions in the workplace. Additionally, it’s associated with better levels of devotion to work and employee morale, both of which boost performance.
It’s understanding that the outcomes of your job affect other team members and overall corporate performance.
When employees are held accountable, they accept responsibility for the outcomes and do not think it is the responsibility of someone else.
In essence, it’s the antithesis of passing responsibility.
The person who is specifically accountable
The directly responsible individual (DRI), a term coined by Apple, is the ideal illustration of accountability in the workplace. Every task at Apple, no matter how little, is given to a person who is personally in charge of it.
DRIs are responsible for the accomplishment or failure of the projects they are given. By clearly defining who is responsible, there is less potential for shifting blame and greater transparency regarding decision-making.
In the end, trust is built when team members continuously show ownership and accountability.
Performance improves and micromanagement decreases as a result.
What occurs at work when there is a lack of accountability?
Simply put: The team suffers from a lack of accountability.
When no one takes responsibility, the delay of one individual affects the entire team. A little shortage quickly grows into a larger one.
When unfinished work, missing deadlines, and poor punctuality are accepted, they often start to become the standard. People are taught that the actual deadline is a week after the one that was publicised, that it’s normal to constantly be 10 minutes late for meetings, and that producing subpar work is acceptable. Your team suffers, and eventually, so does the culture of your organisation.
The team as a whole becomes frustrated and disengaged when one of its members consistently breaks promises and isn’t held accountable.
Partners In Leadership claims that a lack of accountability at work results in:
• low team spirit
• Team members’ priorities are unclear.
• reduced level of employee involvement
• Unmet team and personal objectives
• Low trust levels
• a lot of change
How do you demonstrate responsibility at work?
It is obvious that a lack of responsibility has a hefty cost. So how do you avoid it or fix the problem? You need to go inward before you even consider how to include accountability into your workplace culture. At work, do you exhibit accountability?
A excellent place to start is with your goals and objectives. If you don’t know what you should be accepting responsibility for, you can’t be accountable. Set measurable, unambiguous goals for yourself and your team so that everyone, including you, understands what you’re aiming to accomplish.
You can skip forward to the next section, where we’ll talk about setting goals, if you’d like.
The discrepancy between expectations and performance should then be addressed. You can close the gap between what you’re doing and what you should be doing after you have a clear understanding of your objectives and expectations. Do things fall into a black hole because you weren’t aware they were on your plate?
Finally, and most importantly: Be accountable for your deeds. When you admit a mistake you’ve made, you’re also admitting that you have the ability to correct it. And accountability has this wonderful quality.
Examples of how you can show your own accountability at work:
• Within the time frame you agreed upon, finish the duties that have been allocated to you.
• Be accountable for your team’s success and put out the effort to assist your team when necessary.
• Respect everyone else’s time by arriving on time and prepared for meetings you schedule (and expect that others do too).
• Take responsibility for the issues you raise by offering solutions as well.
• Avoid brushing issues under the rug or assuming they have already been resolved. Instead, raise red flags as they appear.
How to instil accountability as a fundamental value across your team and in your culture
Because it makes us uncomfortable, we frequently forget to do it, or perhaps we are unsure of how to go about it, we avoid holding others accountable. Here are some strategies for dealing with these problems and fostering an accountable workplace culture.
1. Set a good example and start with being responsible for yourself.
As we just established, you create the tone, performance, and culture for your team as the manager. People will imitate your actions. The team will copy your behaviour if you consistently arrive late for meetings, miss deadlines, and refuse to accept responsibility for your errors.
2. Set collective objectives
Developing an environment of accountability on your team requires setting goals. It clarifies what you’re attempting to accomplish collectively.
To be clear, not all objectives are created equal. They must also be measurable, explicit, and demanding in order to be set in a way that promotes accountability. Our preferred method of setting goals is using the OKR framework (objective and key results). The fact that OKRs are bottom-up makes them beautiful. They are simple to track and are created collaboratively. Additionally, they must to be linked to more significant corporate objectives so that everyone is aware of their significance.
Everyone’s understanding of their tasks and expectations—both individually and collectively—is facilitated by this.
3. Improve your feedback abilities
Although it’s difficult, giving difficult feedback is a talent that can be developed. Giving feedback is one of the most crucial things a manager does. Giving severe feedback is lot simpler when you do it frequently, even when it’s favourable. It also lessens the possibility that the feedback your direct report is receiving may come as a surprise to them, which could result in even more disengagement.
Effective feedback is made up of a few components:
• Ensure psychological safety by providing critical feedback in a secure, private setting, such as your one-on-one meetings. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that psychological safety doesn’t develop overnight. Work to establish an environment with your team where people feel free to be open and authentic. If they don’t, it will be far more difficult for them to take your advice.
• Assume good intentions: At its core, constructive criticism stems from a desire to sincerely assist someone in developing. You must show that you care. Assume that the problem you’re trying to solve wasn’t done intentionally, and vice versa. The key is to always have each other’s backs.
• Be specific; being overly generic is not helpful to your team member. Give specific examples to support your criticism so they may better grasp how to improve.
Check out this collection of constructive feedback examples for more information on how to provide feedback effectively.
4. Establish a two-way feedback culture.
Good feedback requires not just the ability to give it, but also the willingness to receive it and the provision of a safe environment in which to do so. Your team members start to disengage when you don’t promote a culture of two-way feedback and they don’t feel like there is a safe area to speak up. According to a study by Vital Smarts of over 800 professionals,
• 52% are hesitant to bring up issues with peers’ work, such as incorrect shortcuts, a lack of attention to detail, and incomplete assignments.
• 47% of respondents claim they hold back on raising issues or suggestions that could help the company since doing so would infringe on someone else’s territory.
• When policy actions are starting to have unanticipated negative impacts, 49% of people wait more than a week to voice their concerns.
• When they think someone (or a group) has made a poor strategic decision, 55% are unwilling to address it.
That is a significant amount of missed opportunities for insightful learning and resource waste. Encourage two-way communication so that your staff feels comfortable identifying and outlining issues. Try the lettuce agreement with your team to help promote feedback.
5. Create a habit of accountability
It will be easier to ensure constant feedback flow if you include a reminder to provide and request feedback in the agenda for each meeting. We think team meetings and one-on-one conversations are excellent venues for developing an accountability habit.
To establish accountability as a habit, managers who use Hypercontext include the following meeting questions on their one-on-one agendas:
• Is there anything that our group should GET STARTED doing?
• Do you want me to give you more or less direction for your work?
• Do you believe you receive adequate criticism on your work? Where would you like further input if not here?
• Is there a part of your career that you feel could use extra coaching or help?
• How can we make our teamwork more effective?
6. Keep a record of your obligations, and keep one another responsible.
Make sure to include that as a future agenda item if you pledge to provide your direct reports more input so that you can hold yourself accountable. Make sure you have a mechanism to check-in on the day your employee promises to deliver a workback schedule for a project.
Making sure you’re assigning action items during meetings is a simple method to promote an accountability culture or, if the harm has already been done, repair a lack of accountability.
This is the ideal method for holding each and every team member responsible for their activities. For instance, the Next Steps feature in Hypercontext lets you add action items with deadlines to each meeting agenda item and assign them to team members. The team will have a clear understanding of what is being done and who needs to be held responsible for duties that have been neglected because you can’t close the agenda item until all of the subsequent stages have been completed.
7. Use a framework for accountability
Rarely is a lack of accountability on purpose. It frequently happens as a result of various issues, one of which being unclear roles and duties.
Accountability is very difficult when there is ambiguity on who is in charge of what. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, just 50% of workers firmly agree that they are aware of their obligations at work.
Fortunately, accountability models like the RACI matrix can assist with this issue. This accountability framework, sometimes referred to as a RACI chart, makes sure that every person involved in a project is given a role at each stage. There are 4 degrees of accountability for these roles:
• Responsible: Those who are in charge of finishing the given duty.
• Accountable: Individuals who are ultimately responsible for seeing that the work or delivery is finished. Additionally, this person is in charge of assigning the job to the appropriate parties.
• Consulted: For the task at hand, these people are often the subject-matter experts. They take on a consultancy and advisory role at the particular project stage.
• People who are informed are those who are given regular updates on the project’s status. One-way communication is the most common method used for this.
Here is an illustration of how the RACI matrix for an engineering team might appear:
Bonus section: Accountability for coworkers
One example is fostering an environment of accountability within your direct staff. Another one is holding your fellow students accountable. How can you hold your coworkers accountable so that your teamwork across the entire company is optimised?
Contrary to what many people think, holding your coworkers accountable doesn’t involve blaming or accusing them. It all comes down to helping each other. To encourage greater accountability among your coworkers, think about the following important factors:
1. Be open and honest Be forthright and honest with your coworkers. Due to complex office politics or working in silos, we sometimes keep our cards close to our chests. However, being honest promotes accountability for both you and your colleagues.
2. Work collaboratively: Working in silos can quickly lead to a lack of accountability for anything that occurs outside of your team. The truth is that each team is a component of the overall picture in an organisation, which is a puzzle. To accomplish your company’s objectives, you must collaborate. Look for ways you can help one another, even if it’s “outside of your job description.” Your troubles are also their problems.
3. Don’t overlook peer-to-peer one-on-one interactions:
One-on-ones are frequently only used in situations involving a management and a direct report. However, peer-to-peer one-on-one conversations are crucial for fostering empathy and responsibility throughout the company. It’s simple to blame another team for a project that doesn’t go as planned. However, by regularly engaging with your peers, you can better comprehend their challenges and constraints and have a deeper understanding of the context in which team choices are made.
To sum up:
Overall, encouraging an accountable culture within your team will not only increase productivity and employee morale, but it will also provide your team the autonomy and sense of responsibility they require to succeed. Changes need to be made if you believe your team lacks accountability.
Chapter 1: Understanding Accountability
What Does Workplace Accountability Mean?
A culture of ownership, a climate of trust, and high-performing teams all depend on accountability in the workplace. Accountability is necessary for employees at all levels of a business to perform their jobs most effectively. Being a better employee and creating a culture of responsibility can be achieved by understanding what it means to be accountable in the workplace. In this course manual, we cover workplace accountability as well as the advantages of taking responsibility for your actions.
What exactly does accountability mean at work?
You might be unsure of how to respond to the query, “What is accountability in the workplace?” whether you’re a manager or an employee. You need first become familiar with the definition of accountability in order to completely respond to this query. Accepting responsibility for your actions is central to the idea of accountability. But accountability goes beyond that. Accountability also entails taking responsibility for your job responsibilities and using initiative to take on additional jobs as necessary. It entails owning up to your errors and making the necessary corrections.
Any level of employee in a business is accountable for achieving certain objectives. This calls for you to be dependable and to act on your promises. When you go above and beyond to fulfil your own and other people’s deadlines and expectations, you are being accountable. To create a culture of openness and trust at work, accountability also demands transparency between management and employees.
Chapter 2: Accountability Roadmap
The finest businesses are always looking for ways to develop as a team, whether it’s creating a stronger culture, cutting down on errors, or avoiding failure.
Some of the finest businesses will examine each project in detail to determine what went correctly and what went wrong. The huddle, also known as a “debrief,” is popular outside of the commercial sphere.
Each project or mission is followed by a debriefing in many of the top businesses (and military units), where it is discussed what made it successful and where there is room for improvement. One of the most important lessons is to constantly think positively and avoid assigning blame.
Chapter 3: Pre-Assessment
Imagine this: Your weekly team meeting is about to begin, but barely half of your staff are there.
Even so, you get going, only to have two more employees show up five minutes later.
Finally, another employee enters as you proceed.
You and your entire team experience disruption, which causes your meeting to run longer than usual.
It’s improbable that the primary issue at work in a setting like this is being late to meetings. There’s a good chance that you also experience missed deadlines, finger-pointing, and low productivity.
A lack of accountability at work is the root of all of these problems.
Work is substandard and frequently delivered late in a team that lacks accountability. Nobody accepts responsibility for their acts, which has a negative impact on all outcomes.
We’ve put up this comprehensive guide to assist you in identifying and resolving a lack of responsibility on your team. We’ll discuss what it means to be accountable at work, the issues that result from a lack of accountability, and how to deal with these issues on your team.
Chapter 4: Debriefs Explained
Your team has chosen a significant objective to achieve, a problem to solve, or a chance to seize. You convene one or more meetings, establish goals, create a plan, and then begin to carry it out. On paper, everything seems excellent.
But then things start to go wrong with your strategy. Some goals are more challenging to achieve than you anticipated. Important players are enticed to join another project. Timelines go more slowly than you expected. The impact is not as great as it should be.
You have three options at this point: (1) keep plodding along in the hopes that things improve; (2) scrap the entire plan; or (3) adjust and dive back in. In my experience, options one and two don’t work and are ultimately ineffective. Only option three has the potential to sustainably propel the development of your group and business. Debriefing, a straightforward yet effective tool, enters the picture here.
Debriefing is a methodical learning procedure created to help plans continually improve as they are being carried out. It first appeared in the military as a means of addressing errors or modifications on the field while also learning swiftly in situations that were changing quickly. Debriefing is well known in business as being essential to advancing initiatives, developing fresh strategies, and accomplishing challenging goals. Additionally, it unites a team, stimulates relationship-building, and supports team learning. In my experience, teams that routinely debrief are closer than those that don’t. All in all, they communicate more successfully. Their values and purposes are more in line. In essence, they develop into more effective teams.
Chapter 5: Mission Command
Mission Command: What is it?
According to the Capstone Doctrine of the Irish Defense Forces, “Mission Command is a philosophy of command that emphasises decentralised command, freedom, and speed of action and initiative, but is responsive to superior direction.” The mission command philosophy is described as “The exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations” in the US Army’s pamphlet on mission command (ADRP 6-0). Simply said, Job Command permits subordinate leaders to carry out their mission with the greatest amount of latitude feasible when their commander has delegated decision-making to their level through the issuance of a clear “commander’s intent” and control measures.
Make sure your goals are clear. a goal, at the very least.
It may sound overly dramatic, but how can you get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going? More importantly, how will your staff members carry out your instructions?
Look at the British Army’s Leadership Code or Doctrine to see how vision is incorporated into our doctrine. A good leader must set the vision, encourage followers to work toward it, and challenge them to do so. The vision is where it all begins. Let’s call it a mission and use verbs that are appropriate for missions if you are uncomfortable with the idea of your team having a vision. But you need something to keep you from being blown around by the dominant winds.
Chapter 6: Commander’s Intent
Utilize the Commander’s Intent to Prepare Your Team for Action
What is the appropriate level of insight and direction I need to offer and get from my team? is by far one o