I’m humbled now. This is the second try at writing this section. I have to hold myself accountable and take responsibility for the screw-up I just did. I forgot to save this document as I wrote it. I chew on my kids and my students as they create documents to make sure they save as they go because I don’t want to listen to their whining when they know better and lose the document. Well guess what I just did!!! Now I can write this section based on recent experience. I honestly have to say I’m going to write it different now. I think there are specific things that should be done to create and sustain an environment of accountability and responsibility.
If you screw-up, stand up and say so. Don’t hide. People respect others who do this. I recognize this is harder to do in an environment where you can get yelled at, but if you want to be able to live with yourself, you have to do it. Along with saying you screwed up, have a recovery plan figured out ahead of time ready to implement. The responsibility part is saying you screwed up, the accountability part is saying “here’s what I’m going to do to fix it!”If you’re a leader and you see a mistake, bring it up. Don’t yell, don’t scream, say “Hey gang, we got a problem here that we need to figure out and fix” “Let’s do it”. If the problem continually reoccurs, as leader, don’t also be afraid to say this is unacceptable, we need to fix it now and forever and then pull the offending person(s) aside and honestly let them know the consequences of the problem not getting fixed. If you’ve stated your expectations up front and their understood, negative consequences are more successfully addressed. Our un-comfort in negative consequences generally arises because we’ve done a poor job up front. Lastly, WE HAVE TO WALK THE TALK!!
Enough said, there’s lots of tools and techniques out there for specific situations but the above three are foundational and will go a long way in guiding us. If we can’t be responsible and accountable, we’ll have an environment of “duck and cover”
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Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in Supply Chain Management, Lean, Leadership, and APICS. He currently works with approximately 50 universities and 3000 students annually in supporting the use and play of the simulations in the classroom. Within those 40 years, he has taught, and continues to teach, professional certification classes for APICS, professional development seminars and programs on his own, and on behalf of colleges in their outreach programs to local and regional manufacturing firms.
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