What's wrong with accountability
David Weinberger on Making a Difference
Cory Treffiletti at Online Spin writes about what's wrong with being accountable, at least within the PR and ad industries. He says that the push for accountability can undermine the patience required to build a brand. Also, he says, accountability can ignore that you are not in total control of the results of your actions.
Frankly, I never felt comfortable with being held accountable, and not just because I am a cowardly slacker. When bosses start talking about accountability, they often are imagining that work is a simple cause-and-effect affair. Plus, it means you start filling out more forms saying what you're doing and why it matters, which a good boss already knows. (Insert copious exceptions here: ____.) Plus, it assumes that business advances by a million small steps. But some roles in some businesses at some times are chunkier than that.
In sum: Announcing that the company is adopting accountability as a core value usually means that things are going badly so they've decided to make things go worse by engaging in magical rituals that lessen the trust that actually lets companies advance.
On the other hand, I am just a big baby.