Holding people to account


Holding people to account is usually uncomfortable.

My notes clearly indicate that I’ve found it difficult in the past.

But plug lack of accountability into almost any business scenario or project, and you have something that can become truly toxic.

In the world of public relations, a commitment should mean just that, with consequences if the commitment is broken. The most common examples of broken commitments in the PR world relate to an interview, a presentation, or talking to employees. If these are examples familiar to you (either as a PR practitioner, or as a businessman or woman who has witnessed such a broken commitment), I’ll let you reflect on the effects on the wider audience and community with which your organisation was seeking to engage.

A lack of accountability simply leads to compounded distraction, wasted effort, procrastination. It’s up to us to make the call, however difficult it is.

It’s also up to us to acknowledge, support and thank those that do deliver.

(This post is part of the series derived from my experiences in business over the past seven or so years.)

About alansmithoz

Head of Strategic Business Communications at Australian social analytics technology company Digivizer, with a background in corporate public relations and marketing. I do what I do because I believe communications can make a difference.
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2 Responses to Holding people to account

  1. Steve says:

    in a preofssion where challenging behaviour is a requirement it is often neglected within, especially around performance. I am sure many from outside the public sector would shout ” we already knew that”.
    I suspect the reality is that few are prepared for the battle that can result from challenging internally. However, nipping things in hte bud nice and early often does the trick. It can also avoid lengthy potential litigation

    • alansmithoz says:

      I think your point about how we are partly in the business of challenging behaviour, and perhaps preconceptions, is well made. If someone’s behaviour historically seems to indicate a reluctance to deliver, perhaps we should call them on it early. At the very least, let’s explicitly test their resolve before making our own commitments (always, of course, taking care not to procrastinate!).

      Preparing for the battle requires internal personal preparation and resolve, and genuinely difficult situations are never going to be easy.

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