Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, has an excellently short and to the point article over at the Harvard Business Blog about accountability and why it is important, how we are ignoring it and what to do about that.
"The tools of accountability - data, details, metrics, measurement, analyses, charts, tests, assessments, performance evaluations - are neutral. What matters is their interpretation, the manner of their use, and the culture that surrounds them. In declining organizations, use of these tools signals that people are watched too closely, not trusted, about to be punished. In successful organizations, they are vital tools that high achievers use to understand and improve performance regularly and rapidly."She suggests that one frequently look into the mirror to evaluate oneself and the performance of one's teams, and she offers some "classic keys" to ensuring that the mirror is not broken. Much more at the link.