Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Maximizes Accountability ...

Greg Bustin is a TEC resource from Dallas who talks about creating an Accountability culture so that performance occurs almost automatically.  Too often, he says, one critical piece is missing ...
Accountability is taking personal responsibility to do what you say you’ll do within the timeframe you’ve agreed to do it. The key from a leadership standpoint is “being precise about what the result is ...what it looks like, what the measure is, and by when! AND, what the CONSEQUENCES are for  NON-PERFORMANCE! Almost ALWAYS, we fail to include this last point about Consequences. The statement doesn’t always have to be about the Consequences to the failing individual; it may be even more powerful to discuss the Consequences to the TEAM! Setting the Consequences provides awareness that performance is important, and eliminates arguments later. When you require accountability, you are living the value of Trust ... that people can count on each other to perform what they agree to do. VERY CRITICAL! 
 But observe: You as a leader can’t /don’t create accountability. You create the culture that demands it ... that each person will hold themselves accountable to perform to what they agreed. That’s the only “accountability” possible. Another can’t hold a person “accountable.” Only each person "can hold himself/herself accountable.”

Keys to Success: Personal Mastery & Personal Awareness

"I've never worked with a client who used Personal Mastery and Personal Awareness as a Culture who wasn't successful," says James Newton, head of Newton Learning Systems and former head of TEC's Chair training.  Indeed, he says, "those who do this well significantly outperform their TEC peers, who in turn significantly outperform average non-TEC companies."
In a recent Wisconsin workshop, he said the following should be key elements of CEOs' efforts at Personal Mastery/Awareness.  Embracing and displaying them, he said, convey to the rest of the organization that they are critical habits, resulting in energized employees.
•  The most important one is Self-Disclosure/Vulnerability.  Believe it or not, it's THE key to a high performance TEC Group and a high performing company!  Why?  Because it yields Trust and Caring and Support!  If you are emotionally open to your fellow executives and employees, it not only shows them that you trust them, but they will feel that you are Authentic.  In return, they will be both caring and, most importantly, supportive of your efforts.  It makes people "all about others."  The result will be a collaborative, peak-seeking organization presenting an incredibly appealing and energized face to customers and prospects.  
•  It's Tough, but  ... Avoid being Judgmental.  "In any situation, the person who can most accurately describe reality without laying blame will emerge as the leader,"  a quote by Edwin Friedman.  Very important ... perhaps the secret to a leader's ability to not being so separate from his/her people that critical communication doesn't occur.  It's also a key to effectiveness:  Laying blame is judgmental, and immediately causes recoil in the other person.  If you avoid any judgment about the "person," but only about the idea, then the personal relationship isn't impaired and effectiveness is more likely to occur.  One technique:  Say, "I feel ...," rather than "You are ..."

Some Things to Think About

•  Anytime there is a Third Party in the middle of a transaction, especially a level of government, prices go up.  Because they can.  I can get away with charging a Second Party a higher price that he/she can't afford, because the Third Party who's partially funding the purchase can get the extra money from other people.  That's what insurance companies and large employers do.           
•  One of the reasons we have HIGH cost of the sick care system is that we have HIGH usage ... because we're less healthy.  We got that way because of family and community support for bad eating and lack-of-exercise habits.  NOW, we have to create a different emphasis of family and community support.
Access this article for another approach that seems to be working:

Zingales on Capitalism

I recently read a book by an Italian-born economist about Capitalism.  He says he escaped the brand of "crony capitalism" practiced in Italy by coming to the U.S.; he's now a professor at the U. of Chicago business school.  He says that the requirements of Capitalism are not only the normal ones of individual property rights and a judicial system to protect them, but also competition.  To the degree that competition is compromised (by taxes and regulations), capitalism fails to provide its rewards.  Of course, some taxes and regulations are necessary ... to pay for government services and to provide guidelines for how society wants it to operate.  But, he says, many taxes and regulations go further than that, effectively rewarding those pushing for the changes because they will benefit them at the cost of others.  That, he says, is the beginning of "crony capitalism" ... and the U.S. now has it in spades, he says.  The result is a distorted economic system that benefits too many people disproportionately to the rest, causing people to lose faith in it and choose not to engage.  He says that's what we're seeing now ... in both our complex tax system, and the amount of complex regulations that we have.  Every time there is a tax or regulation change, somebody wins and somebody loses.  Watch for it.  You will also see it shortly as pressure builds to change tax systems and regulations.  You can see who benefits from them now, because they will be arguing for the status quo through their lobbyists.
Oh, yes.  The book, written in 2012, is:  A Capitalism for the People, by Prof. Luigi Zingales.  I have a three-page summary of it, if you ask.

More on our National Debt Debacle, all of which is unpopular

•  When a country starts to run into trouble:  Two sets of economists (Reinheart/Rogoff and Kumar/Woo) have done research of OECD countries that have gone through significant ups-and-downs that effectively states:  "At 90% of debt-to-GDP, the debt effect becomes large and negative causing a significant reduction in the rate of growth."
•  How to cut:  Another review of 21 OECD countries by economists Biggs/Jensen/Hassett, says "the more aggressively a country cuts spending, the more likely it is to successfully reduce debt in the long term.  A typical 'successful' consolidation consisted of 80% spending cuts and 20% tax increases."  In particular, they said, "cuts to social transfers, largely entitlement spending, and government wages, are more likely to permanently reduce debt and deficits than cuts to other expenditures."  It is a more effective way to lower government debt levels than increasing taxes.  It reduces GDP growth in the short run, but increases the likelihood and degree of economic growth in the long run.
 Tax Structure Changes:  A 2008 OECD study by Jens Arnold suggests these priorities for the tax structure change part:
First:  "Property taxes and particularly recurrent taxes on immovable property (assets/wealth), seem to be the most growth-friendly because they don't take away from spending capability  ... followed by consumption taxes, and then by personal income taxes." 
Second:  Corporate income tax increases appear to have the most negative efffect on growth of GDP per capita (i.e., they disrupt the trickle down of lower prices effect of additional investment).  "A reduction in corporate income taxes has a stronger positive effect on GDP per capita than a similar decrease in personal income taxation."  (Indeed, reducing corporate income taxes to zero would free major dollars for investment in R&D, testing, production and selling ... all of which adds jobs.  When profit dollars are siphoned for personal income instead, they would be taxed at personal income rates.)