Lack of accountability weakens a culture and renders execution of daily master the art of execution (MAX) acts inconsistent or even optional in some team members' eyes. A key reason why accountability is missing in so many organizations is because of unclear performance standards. Because ambiguity is the enemy of accountability, lack of clear performance standards creates a serious cultural flaw. Although some organizations do an okay job of defining the ultimate few objectives (TUFs), desired outcomes, they falter in establishing the daily performance standards, MAX acts, that make TUFs' attainment possible. To make matters worse, standards are often too low, not in writing, and without appropriate consequences for execution failure. Thus, many leaders dupe themselves into believing they have performance standards when all they have in reality are performance suggestions.
Performance Standards versus Performance Suggestions
Lest you think I'm splitting hairs by differentiating between standards and suggestions, please consider Dictionary.com's description of each:
- Standard: “a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment” (n.d). This powerful definition implies that a standard is specific and official enough for you to hold someone accountable for it and apply consequences for failure if necessary.
- Suggestion: “something suggested, as a piece of advice” (n.d.). Advice implies that what you expect to be done ...