How to Take Accountability from MESSY to MARVELOUS In 9 Steps

Who doesn’t want to move from a messy culture to one that’s marvelous? A culture that others and your own leaders marvel at?

That’s where Dr. Richard Coughlan begins in this DisruptHR presentation from Richmond, VA, where he’s associate professor of Management at the University of Richmond. Before getting to marvelous, first, what does he mean by messy. It has to do with the notion of accountability. It’s an acronym for what accountability is at too many organizations: too much Monitoring, Evaluating, Scrutinizing and too Stressful leading to too much Yielding by the leadership.

To move it to marvelous is a 9-step process for which MARVELOUS is an acronym, says Coughlan. We won’t go through the whole list here; Coughlan explains it in the video. But it starts with a focus on Mindset, rather than measuring. “I want you to think about how to connect Actions with Results,” Coughlan says, adding that the approach is one that is Values based.”

Reading it this way may seem a bit confusing, but the change he’s advocating is a cultural one where the mindset is what drives results, not the heavy-hand of measurement. Make no mistake, Coughlan isn’t suggesting you do away with metrics; results are important. For HR, “Think about how you can hold folks accountable for values. What that means is that you’re helping them understand how their actions connects to the results that are important to you. Values provide that very important bridge,” he says.

With that as a guide, Encourage workers to experiment with different ways of getting results. Provide them latitude to do their job — and yes, that is the “L” in Coughlan’s MARVELOUS formula. Take the next 5 minutes to hear Coughlan describe how it all fits together.

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