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Culture of Accountability

To wrap up our posts on #organizationalculture in July, we want to emphasize the importance of a culture of accountability. “Who owns the monkey?” is a great question to ask, posed by James C. Morgan in Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector. A lot of people love the phrase, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” But that saying is about refusing to take responsibility for something without necessarily ensuring that someone else will take care of the task or challenge. Instead, Morgan encourages leaders to create a culture in which it is very clear who owns the monkey. Owning the monkey means the person responsible cannot pass the buck. They must think through the consequences of decisions and try to solve the problems that arise. When you have clarity on who owns the monkey, then you and your colleagues can avoid a lot of conflicts and missed deadlines caused by confusion. Be straightforward on a regular basis about who is doing what and by when, and all the moving parts will move much more efficiently without alienating your colleagues.
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