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Chew On This - Accountability

The pandemic has validated, what many already knew, we live in an uncertain future and constantly changing present. Chew On This is a conversation thought starter for shifting how we think first, to transform what we do. Here we ask how might we navigate to look for what’s not there yet while learning to co-exist with what comes next? Let’s get started…

My Dad figured me out fast.

You see, I was one those very curious children (still am) asking 'why' queries. I craved to try different things without thinking about how risky it maybe or being afraid of failing. In my mind, anything and everything is possible. Even if my idea or I failed I would just try another way. The crazier the idea the more I was determined to try it.

So, when I did something and it didn't go well, Dad sat me down and made me think about the pros and cons of my decision and actions. Well...the cons were easy to come up with when my big idea and experiment didn't work. The pros not so much. Then Dad suggested, the next time I have a big idea and want to experiment with it, I think about the pros and cons. If I went ahead and did it anyway, I had to be prepared to take responsibility for my decision and actions. This was my introduction to accountability and what it means to be responsible for my decisions and actions.

I'm not seeing a lot of accountability today. Are you??

In public places and online people are being openly accosted. The person doing the accosting intention is to verbally hurt and abuse people without any thought to the consequences of the 'abusers' actions. Furthermore, the abusers are not being held accountable for their decisions and actions.

In business it's not that much different. Not the verbal abuse, the lack of accountability when something goes wrong with the product or service sold. The onus tends to fall on the customer to fix what is the responsibility of organisations. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

  • Example A) Let's say you buy a smartphone and there is an issue with setting up your email. The phone is made by company A. The email software is from Company B. The service provider is with Company C. To sort the problem out you call Company B, they say to call Company C. You call Company C, and they say to speak to Company A.

Meantime, you - the customer - is stuck with fixing the problem, if you want a working smartphone, while Company A, B, and C aren't taking any responsibility.

  • Example B) You receive a recall notification for your car. You follow the instructions communicated by the car manufacturer and call an authorised dealership to set-up a service appointment. The dealership makes the appointment and confirms a loaner for the day, 3-weeks out. Then, on the Friday at 4 p.m. for your Monday a.m. appointment, you receive a v-mail telling you that the loaner is no longer available.

Meantime, you've gone ahead and made appointments for the day thinking that you have a car. You try calling back the dealership with no luck. At the 11th hour you must contact the people you are to meet and inconvenience them. All because the dealership cancelled the car, they confirmed you would have.

See what I mean?? No accountability. And no compensation for your time to fix their problem.

A society is an ecosystem. As such, we all need to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. And...others need to hold us accountable too.

Otherwise, a lack of accountability undermines everything.

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