Measured. Managed. Accountable.

For reasons that may become apparent some day (hopefully soon), the theme of late has become accountability.

Just about every day this month I’ve been asked, “How do I / we increase execution, effectiveness and accountability within our marketing organization?”

The standard answer is actually pretty simple:

  1. Set measurable goals;
  2. Be sure these measurable goals have to be managed to be achieved (read: not flip of the switch done … but done over time and improved upon to be achieved);
  3. Publish the goals and their progress throughout the organization. Be sure there is intra and ideally inter-team visibility and accountability;
  4. Publish the final results along with the learnings, leveraging this experience to educate / mentor the organization and help everyone (who is interested) move forward.

When you put yourself on the line and hold yourself accountable to an objective, one that others share and can support, it is amazing how far you can push, how creative your solutions can become and how much you can achieve.

When you don’t hold yourself accountable, you are far less likely to achieve a remarkable objective – no matter how important it seems at the time.

It would be ideal to know exactly why most marketing organizations don’t want to hold themselves accountable for their success. The research here will continue, probably indefinitely.

In the interim, I’m going to continue to rely on my believe that marketing organizations, and people in general, don’t want anyone to know they may not achieve their goal because this is what the exhaustive research done in this area tells us.

As far as I’m concerned, this believe is silly and selfish.

The best possible outcome of putting an objective on the line and creating public accountability is the opportunity to share the journey, the learnings and the results. It is through the sharing and communication of the process and the day-to-day execution that the best possible learnings are realized and the optimal results achieved.

There is little benefit in the results themselves when they are taken without proper context.┬áResults without context don’t scale an organization. This I do know from experience.

A singular focus on a narrow objective may well achieve that result. The problem is that more often than not this result turns out to be the wrong destination in the grand scheme of things because the in-progress learnings weren’t shared – learnings that would have delivered a meaningful impact on other strategies and decisions.

It’s great to be measured.

It’s great to be managed.

It’s great to be accountable.

Simply knowing this is more than half of the battle.