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Differentiate responsibility authority and accountability?

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: 22/10/2011

Differentiate responsibility authority and accountability?

    22, 2011 5:23 am


Differentiate responsibility authority and accountability?
These two words are RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.
These two words are often used interchangeably, however, they are NOT interchangeable. Let me explain:
Responsibility can be, and often is, shared. Many people are responsible to you in your NWM business - Your sponsor, the rest of your upline, the people in your organization as it begins to develop, and, of course, your company, just to name a few.
Accountability, on the other hand, CANNOT be shared. We often hear the term "shared responsibility", but there is no such thing as "shared accountability". Some would call that term an oxymoron. One could define accountability as the "ultimate responsibility"
. In a summary distinction, "responsibility" focuses for the most part upon all of the elements of duty up to the point of decision, and "accountability" focuses for the most part upon all of the elements of duty after the decision is made.\
I prefer this:
Responsibility is about ownership of an endeavor, e.g., a project, a problem, an assignment.
Accountability is being held to the consequences of the outcome of the effort, i.e., to the outcome of the project, the solution of the problem, or the fulfillment of the assignment.
Yes this is true but the AUTHORITY was left out.
What we are talking about here are the roles of what is known in the business world as RACI matrix charting.
RACI stands for R= Responsible, A = Authority, C = Collaborate and I = Inform.
I know, I know so many will tell you that the A means Accountability but that is not true it has been totally misunderstood by many.
In the charting process WHO performs a task or duty is deemed the "R" person(s) or those RESPONSIBLE. There can be 1, 2, 3 or more BUT Caution, having too many can result in NO one knowing "who is doing WHAT".
The "A" or Authority is the person who is "In charge" or Authorized to see that the process and its defined duties are in fact carried out. There can be but ONE (1) person of Authority. ONE President, One GOD, one Boss (not, too many chiefs and too few Indians)
The "C" or Collaborative people involved are ones who are stakeholders and need to be CONFERRED with prior to the tasks being performed. I suppose Collaborative or Conferred could be Synonymous.
Lastly the "I" or Informed persons are those who are given information, data or results of the duties and tasks after or possibly during completion.
BUT there is one other point to which we must identify and assign, and that is the ACCOUNTABILITY of people in the process.
You see ALL involved are Accountable for their individual assignments no matter what they might be; Responsible, Authoritative, Collaborative or Informed, ALL are Accountable in order for the process to be done as designed.
Think of it this way, I am Responsible for how I drive. A policeman is the Authority of the LAW as designated to him to uphold. But both of us are ACCOUNTABLE for our duty, mine obeying the law and the officers for Upholding it. Please do not confuse the Accountability, Authority and Responsibility of any process like so many others have. It only leads to greater confusion and less improvement to whatever we do together.
"You can delegate anything you would like, but you can never delegate the accountability for results." - Art of Scalability1
In my opinion, this means that with regards to scalability, if you are designing and managing an organization for growth it is crucial that the lines of not only responsibility are clear but also that the lines of accountability are clear. The phrase, "The buck stops here," springs to mind. Wherever the buck stops is where the accountability starts; a point often looked over by the delegators of responsibility.


Differentiate responsibility authority and accountability?

In a summary distinction, "responsibility" focuses for the most part upon all of the elements of duty up to the point of decision, and "accountability" focuses for the most part upon all of the elements of duty after the decision is made.
I prefer this: Responsibility is about ownership of an endeavor, e.g., a project, a problem, an assignment. Accountability is being held to the consequences of the outcome of the effort, i.e., to the outcome of the project, the solution of the problem, or the fulfillment of the assignment. Yes this is true but the AUTHORITY was left out. What we are talking about here are the roles of what is known in the business world as RACI matrix charting.
RACI stands for R= Responsible, A = Authority, C = Collaborate and I = Inform.
I know, I know so many will tell you that the A means Accountability but that is not true it has been totally misunderstood by many. In the charting process WHO performs a task or duty is deemed the "R" person(s) or those RESPONSIBLE. There can be 1, 2, 3 or more BUT Caution, having too many can result in NO one knowing "who is doing WHAT". The "A" or Authority is the person who is "In charge" or Authorized to see that the process and its defined duties are in fact carried out. There can be but ONE (1) person of Authority. ONE President, One GOD, one Boss (not, too many chiefs and too few Indians) . The "C" or Collaborative people involved are ones who are stakeholders and need to be CONFERRED with prior to the tasks being performed. I suppose Collaborative or Conferred could be Synonymous. Lastly the "I" or Informed persons are those who are given information, data or results of the duties and tasks after or possibly during completion. BUT there is one other point to which we must identify and assign, and that is the ACCOUNTABILITY of people in the process. You see ALL involved are Accountable for their individual assignments no matter what they might be; Responsible, Authoritative, Collaborative or Informed, ALL are Accountable in order for the process to be done as designed. Think of it this way, I am Responsible for how I drive. A policeman is the Authority of the LAW as designated to him to uphold. But both of us are ACCOUNTABLE for our duty, mine obeying the law and the officers for Upholding it. Please do not confuse the Accountability, Authority and Responsibility of any process like so many others have. It only leads to greater confusion and less improvement to whatever we do together.
In our lives, most of us know exactly what we are accountable for. That is, those things that we have agreed to dominion over and to manage for certain results. But how many of us know exactly what we are responsible for? In our jobs, our relationships, even our countries, many of us have become masters of accountability, yet weaklings in responsibility. This article is meant to remedy that imbalance, and to highlight the remarkable empowerment that comes from living a 100% responsible life.

We may know people who are impeccably accountable, in that they repeatedly disclose and defend their actions. People that are excellent at accountability will often remind others what they have done, how completely they have done it, and exhibit little flexibility to circumstances that surround their agreed-upon actions. They find comfort in their word, and a scope of involvement limited to that which they agreed upon as "their business." Masters of accountability often use words like "should," "supposed to," "didn't I," and "agreement". They also tend to take themselves seriously, or at least their actions, and they keep a ready "tally" of what has been done. Keeping agreements is often touted as the highest virtue, regardless of whether what has been agreed to has worked toward any larger objectives. In the case of the McDonalds shake-maker, completing their duties in an efficient manner would be the primary concern, even if NOT making a shake would be a better choice in a particular circumstance. Then there are masters of responsibility. These folks are more rare, or more likely, less visible. Masters of responsibility know that in their jobs, relationships, their health, wealth, and nation, that they are ultimately responsible. That is, they are able to respond. Masters of responsibility often act in erratic or unpredictable ways. These people know that anything that crosses into their awareness, is something they can do something about. Responsibility-masters make fewer agreements than accountable types, because agreements may get in the way of doing something that works toward a larger objective. They tend to take themselves less seriously, and use terms like "freedom," "could," "can" and "will" more often then their counterparts. Their highest virtue is more likely to be fluid or indefinable, although their behavior often leans toward service to a greater principal. They will not hesitate in abandoning the shake machine if a little old lady needs help to open a door, for example. Now, as YOU look at these portraits, where do you see yourself? More importantly, where do you want to see yourself? Fortunately, there is a wonderful empowering balance of the two that is possible for the adventurous. Once you take 100% responsibility for that which crosses into your awareness, you can act creatively toward making any aspect of your world a better place. And you can be impeccable in your agreements, as you remain free to re-communicate and transcend them.














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