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Corporate culture: Accountability is the glue for top performing organisations

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HC Online | 08 Jul 2009, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Craig McCallum argues that consistent values - and above all else accountability - are the glue that binds repeated great performance
  • Harry Wolfe | 10 Jul 2009, 11:05 AM Agree 0
    Craig McCallum has written a valuable article pointing the way for all Board's and their Directors.

    Corporate culture is the key to good Corporate Governance.

    To quote from his article "Consistent values - and above all those of accountability - are the glue that bind repeated performance. In high-performance teams, we see repeatedly that mutual, internal accountability prevails in force. Such teams are characterised by self evaluation, and their sense of internal accountability is far greater than anything imposed by a boss or outsider."

    However Craig then goes on to state "They demonstrate clearly that accountability is a behaviour, not an action." That is an over-simplification of a real, far greater challenge to every organisation.

    Accountability is embedded in a person's beliefs and values that, inextricably entwined with their feelings and motions as attitude, motivates and determines their behaviour of accountability.

    The attitudes of every person in a team, when aggregated, is the organisational culture of that team, no matter whether it is a high performance team or not,

    But even if the attitudes, beliefs and values of every member in the team motivate self evaluation that is not enough to result in high team performance.

    High-performance teams have excellent communications with their market. Excellent communications, where the words and symbols, and their implications, have the same meaning for both parties, are determined by the team's ability to communicate with their market, on their market's frequency of beliefs, values, attitude and culture.

    In other words if the culture of the team in communicating with their market, does not match the culture of their market, there is no high-performance.

    The string of high-profile failures of corporate accountability quoted by Craig: Enron, HIH, Worldcom, ABC Learning, Opes Prime, Allco and AWB are excellent examples not only of their organisational culture not matching that of their market, but of internal culture misalignments within their organisation.

    Corporate culture is the key to good corporate governance. All financial loss is a symptom of a culture misalignment!
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