Accountability wake up

Mondays are different. We wake up and generally, confront a waiting list of to do’s that read more like should or must do’s. Beyond considerations of scope and consequence, I wondered what structures and constructs simplify the process? What must happen to reassure us–add value and attach significance to our lives?

The calendar trigger

This weekly routine, my cycling readjustment that reset my self awareness and attention began when I was a kid.

On Sunday afternoons my parents would remind and later my own sensibilities of time and obligation would nag at me. I’d begin to revisit in my head teachers’ homework assignments and think about those due on Monday. This teeing up of deliverables signaled the cycle of my responsibility and attention To obligation.

Professionally, unless I had to travel, I chose to savor my freedom and pushed off the mental replay of calendared commitments until bedtime. Then, I’d review only where I needed to be Monday and the time but rarely the what.

It turns out my memory and ability to anticipate made obvious the separate activities and associated deliverables due at specific time from my strategies. I didn’t need too much structure to keep track and hold up my end responsibly. Even when I needed access or coordinate with others the flow of information , I could keep it in my head.

It was quite a surprise when later I began to manage a team that I encountered problems. Mistakenly I just thought they didn’t understand the task. Much later I realized it was their disconnect between their actions and it’s impact they didn’t understand principally because it was out of scope , beyond their responsibilities.

Working in larger organizations forced my usage of task and project tracking . The trail of information as it moved relied on people doing their bit, but all the indicators that lee them know the impact of their input was beyond their perception and few incorporated it into their thinking. Determination of input quality or consistency were missing or lay outside the set of tasks and responsibilities.

Scope and consequence

The ever growing variety of tracking tools and technologies rarely connect to their significance. The “system” that establishes wWho is responsible for what and when needs mechanisms to confirm the activities happen, and commitments scheduled get fulfilled.

Tracking the doing doesn’t track its impact. Primarily because impact isn’t assignable but a consequence.

In short human accountability remains subject to human conception and subsequent actions. Doing what we are told may not be sufficient to get results.

Last week I convened my regular peer discussion on strategy. We talked about moving forward. What’s possible to do requires more than time to make happen, it takes awareness, foresight, insight and resources capable, coordinated and committed to the task.

Did you build in time this week to renew your commitments, refresh your knowledge, reconnect to the circles that you engage and coordinate activities for results? Out of curiosity, I’d love to see what other solutions are out there. Please share any tools you use to keep yourself on track, not just on task.

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