Tom Peters is famous for saying, "Execution is strategy. Strategy is execution." In a turbulent market, those companies that are able to effectively execute on strategy have a far greater chance of success. The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management (2009) noted that successful execution requires:
1. Clear goals that support the overall strategy
2. A means of measuring progress towards these goals on a regular basis
3. Clear accountability for that progress..
Whilst the first two principles should not be taken at face value, "accountability" at the personal and organisational level is certainly a key component of execution. Many strategic plans fail not because of a lack of goal setting or tracking, but simply because people refuse to be held accountable.
From an ethics and governance perspective, accountability is about "answerability". From a leadership perspective, accountability is about, "an acknowledgement of responsibility for actions."
Organisations need to create a culture of accountability by aligning people to execute effectively.
" It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." Sir Josiah Stamp.