Making Accountability Stick

Article | Accountability Insights

by | Jul 30, 2015

There are a number of critical success factors when it comes to making accountability stick—but the key is integration.

We often hear this question: “How do you make Accountability Training stick?” Or we hear this longer version: “We’ve tried repeatedly over the years to get our people to take more accountability for their behavior and results, but we haven’t been able to make it stick . . . how do you make it stick?”

Not surprisingly, there are a number of critical success factors when it comes to making accountability stick—such as a common language and framework for discussing accountability, a crystal-clear definition of desired results, personal choice and commitment, positive rather than negative applications of accountability, proven implementation tools and skills, and determined follow-up—but the real secret to making accountability “sticky” is integration. Taking accountability has to become part of the DNA of your leaders, your people, and your entire organization. It needs to be woven continuously into daily activities and always tied to your organization’s Key Results.

It was for this very reason and purpose that we developed the simple, basic, and easy-to-implement Steps to Accountability—See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It—including cogent descriptions of Above The Line and Below The Line behavior and attitudes. This is the central model of The Oz Principle and the primary vehicle or method for making accountability stick. When people in organizations begin using the language of Above The Line and Below The Line and See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It on a daily basis, they start building a common awareness and commitment around staying Above The Line and Seeing It, Owning It, Solving It, and Doing It. What emerges from such awareness and commitment is a whole new approach to work and results. People begin monitoring and correcting themselves while encouraging and helping others to stay Above The Line in order to achieve the desired results. Consequently, accountability becomes internalized in every individual and integrated into every activity. When people begin weaving Above The Line, Below The Line, and See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It language into their daily work activities, they take a crucial first step toward building a Culture of Accountability and creating a work environment where people take accountability for getting results.

For more information on making accountability stick and creating a Culture of Accountability, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at, where you can review actual client case studies.

Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn more about how you can make accountability stick.

Above The Line; Accountability Community; Accountability Training; Below The Line; Culture of Accountability; See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It; and Steps To Accountability are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.