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Work Presentation



Bob Proctor

How your company defines who is accountable for what and who holds those roles accountable. Accountability is NOT responsibility.

Responsibility: having the job or duty of doing something or taking care of somebody/something, (Oxford Dictionary definitions)

Accountability: subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; answerable. ( - Literally to stand up and be counted


Someone who is accountable for a deliverable may delegate responsibility of tasks to another, but they cannot delegate the results. Every position in your company (or that needs to be in your ideal company) is accountable for delivering some result; from ensuring everyone who interacts with your company receives a warm welcome to delivering building projects.


We all tend to think of the person who holds employees accountable as being “the boss,” however often project managers hold project architects accountable for delivering projects on time and architects hold drafters accountable for meeting company drawing standards. There are many configurations of accountability throughout a company, and it is important to define them in as much detail as needed to ensure the desired result.


Every role in the company should be held accountable by someone else - even the President, Owner, and CEO. The fact that we will be held accountable drives people, but equally as important is how these accountabilities are tracked and measured. 


How will your team check back on all the processes they are accountable for? And further what is the consequence for not delivering on those obligations? Ultimately, if the company fails on its accountabilities it will have to close its doors, so having a system in place that ensures everything is completed is of utmost importance.



  • Outcome Reliability - Ensures predictability of all company desired results

  • Result PredictabilityCreates a system of delegation for tasks and deliverables that strive to achieve a desired result

  • Role Clarity - Clarifies the expectations and desired results for every position

  • Improved Productivity - Reduces the bottlenecks in company processes

  • Employee Advancement - Allows team members to grow beyond the role

  • Shareholder Detachment - Frees owners and principals from the everyday grind 


Misconceptions / Mistakes

  • No one can do it as well as me - this ego driven statement ensures that the company will always rely on the owner, systems should be designed to produce a predictable result

  • My team needs my direction to do things right - New team members need direction and training to ensure they understand the process and where the directions to the process can be found, but that doesn’t have to come from you.

  • My clients rely on me to get their projects done - Personnel Accountability Structures position your client to rely on your company to produce the result that exceeds their expectations

  • Even if I delegate the accountability, I am responsible for the result - You do not understand the difference between “accountability” and “responsibility”

  • My team doesn’t care about the outcomes as much as I do - your team does care about their jobs, the clients, and the projects, your system needs to be defined to produce an expected outcome

  • We already have all the positions in our company that we need - Personnel Accountability Structures is not about adding or reducing the number of roles in a company, it is about ensuring all the work is accounted for and the positions know what they are responsible for producing.


Solutions / Best Practices

  • Define all the responsibilities for each position in the company

    • Group each responsibility into topics, fields or subjects in which they have something in common

    • Determine what is the best position to be accountable for those topics, fields, and subjects

    • In the respective position note what they are accountable for and define the desired result

  • Best to start with the ideal company positions rather than the ones you currently have - if you were to redesign your company what positions would you have?

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