Accountability

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Definition:

The act of holding each other and ourselves responsible to our organizing commitments

Key Principles

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Accountability is important because:

  • We're responsible to the 7 million members of MoveOn. MoveOn leaders are accountable for providing a service to millions of MoveOn members across the country: giving them the opportunity to get involved with local organizing. With our leadership commitment, we are accountable to our Core groups, the Council Organizer, Regional Organizer, and the general field team at large.
  • We want to win. With urgent campaigns that directly impact people's lives, there is no time to lose. Shared accountability ensures that we are moving forward on our work together, building strong Councils, and organizing effective tactics. We can't win unless we are accountable to our commitments and to each other.
  • Delegation and accountability work hand in hand. After you delegate responsibilities, be sure you are setting up a plan to hold others accountable for what they agree to take on.
  • Accountability does not mean confrontation. Accountability is getting someone to follow through with a commitment they already made.
  • At its best, accountability is pre-emptive. It's providing the proper context, urgency, and tools for someone to complete their job.
  • Often, fear keeps us from holding people accountable. However, accountability isn't something to shy away from. It is organizing at its best! It is helping others develop a plan and stick to it!
  • Through effective accountability, we develop stronger relationships built on trust and shared commitment.

How To

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  • Delegate tasks. You will be holding others accountable for these tasks.
  • Set clear expectations and a timeline. Set a check-in date and time to ensure the project is on track and answer any questions.
  • A minor problem today is a major problem tomorrow. Don't wait for a little problem to become a big one. Address it early. Each problem we let slide today becomes bigger tomorrow.
  • Keep it objective. If someone has not followed through on a commitment, it's important to focus on the task—not the person. People often hear accountability as an attack on who they are as a person. Focus on the task by understanding what went wrong and how to solve the problem moving forward.
  • Address missed goals and deadlines ASAP. Don't let it slide. Dig in and find out why it happened, and work to prevent the same errors in the future.
  • Just go there! The conversation you don't want to have is probably the conversation you need to have.
  • Acknowledge failure and celebrate success! The best organizing is transparent. Don't let the elephant in the room linger. Similarly, goals and deadlines are only compelling when reaching them is celebrated.

Take-Aways

 

  • 1. Delegation and accountability work hand in hand.

 

  • 2. Accountability is objective. Focus on the tasks and responsibilities.

 

  • 3. Just go there! The conversation you don't want to have is probably the conversation you need to have.