Accountable for Success (A4S) is a job performance, talent development and personal accountability system that allows companies to:
- Focus on 4 job fundamentals: task performance, leadership, strategic alignment and culture-fit.
- Design job descriptions that are clear, do-able and measurable
- Enable the manager-worker team to empower worker self-management
- Hold the worker accountable for meeting the job responsibilities
- Provide timely accountability meetings to ensure smooth progress
- Encourage continuous improve personal and corporate improvement for career growth
A4S is a top down and bottoms-up system.
When used by a company or division, the top leaders first agree to the key elements of a corporate identity: Purpose, Vision, Mission, Strategy and Culture. Only then can this be cascaded down level by level to the bottom of the organization. When everyone understands how they “win” at their jobs and how that enables the company as a whole to “win” in the marketplace.
It uses an evaluation system that’s used at all times; not just at specific time periods (e.g., semi-annually or annually) to provide essential feedback and directions for improvement to guide success and career growth. It A4S is a highly dynamic system. Once the Corporate Vision, Mission, Strategy and Culture are set by the Executive Team, it needs to be cascaded from the top to the bottom of the organization until everyone understands how they “win” at their jobs and how that enables the company as a whole to “win” in the marketplace.
A4S’s centerpiece is the manager-worker dyad and the worker’s job description which consists of responsibilities and measurable KPIs of behavioral success. When a worker is hired, the dyad agrees on:
- The worker’s key responsibilities and underlying tasks,
- The behavioral measures of success,
- How the worker can improve in order to advance within the company and/or profession
- The cadence for review and feedback on how well things are going
- The relative importance of each element which translates into the scoring system
The Job Description
The job description is a living document – expected to change over time as circumstances change. This includes modifications in the company’s needs, the worker’s skills, capabilities and interests, and the ongoing feedback of her/his manager. The dyad uses it to laser-focus on the areas in which the worker can improve so she/he can increase personal/professional development and corporate achievement.
The cadence for review lengthens as the worker increases job mastery. It starts daily to identify problems immediately; then the review period grows – to weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually- as long as the job agreement stays the same
However, in a CILO, things change. Workers learn new skills and habits and want to take on new responsibilities. Technology changes reducing the time needed to accomplish tasks, and enabling workers to increase their contribution to achieving company objectives.
Whenever a significant change takes place (e.g., a promotion, with new job responsibilities), the cadence of review and feedback support time restarts. In other words, the “Peter Principle” is avoided when the dyad reviews how things are going daily, then weekly, etc. and in this way quickly discovers that the former sales person is less-than-successful with the new sales-management responsibilities. The two can then work out a better job agreement.
A4S also is used for talent management, as it offers an objective scoring system by which people can evaluate their achievement of the strategic, cultural and leadership values. Baseball provides an analogy. A .333 hitter (one in three times at bat produces a hit) is more valuable than a .200 hitter. Combine that KPI with all the other hitting, fielding and team-work KPIs, and you can assess which players are move valuable to ultimate team success. Similarly, a sales person who consistently beats sales quota, is a team player, and gives extra time to train new salespeople (and earns a 10 out of 10 score on each of those responsibilities) is more valuable that one who barely meets quota of each one of them.
In sum, the A4S system:
- Uses a “living” job agreement which defines worker’s job with responsibilities tied to corporate success
- Establishes measurable behavioral KPIs to determine success, and rates the based on value
- Focuses on current performance and improvement with the worker’s responsibilities
- Uses the manager-worker “dyad” as the core unit to review and improve
- Enables the dyad to review progress as often as needed (starting with daily) to ensure “win-win”