What if not getting things done on time was a sackable offence?

Yep in my perfect world it would be. Sound harsh? Hear me out…

You know the drill…… You need to get something done by a certain time, and you need someone else to prepare certain information by a certain time so that you can do your bit and live up to your end of the bargain.

All sounds pretty easy right. Sure, until the information you were expecting doesn’t arrive. And of course the person who was supposed to get their bit done thinks there is some highly plausible excuse as to why they haven’t done it. But it doesn’t change the fact that you don’t have what you need to do your bit, and that’s super annoying.

Basically someone else’s lack of planning has become your emergency.


And of course the bigger and hairier the project, the more moving parts that can go awry and slow down the whole project delivery.

This kind of situation happens all the time and it doesn’t do much for company brand, personal brand, psychological safety and stress levels, or overall team interaction.

So why do we put up with it? Often because people don’t have the neuroscience, tools, and frameworks to stamp out this kind of culture.

And generally speaking, lack of on time delivery of tasks and projects is a symptom of bigger root causes. And there are usually many underlying causes which are often not addressed.

So what to do about it?

Identify the root causes

We see so many different root causes from lack of prioritisation ability, lack of organisation of current workload, lack of empowerment to push back on unrealistic timelines, lack of understanding of why something is important (or not and therefore shouldn’t be a current priority), lack of knowing how to maximise cognitive energy, and the list just keeps going on.

Understand the neuroscience and psychology

Being armed with knowledge in this space helps to understand where, how and why accountability goes awry. For example, if you have a leader who is more prone to “telling” rather than “coaching”, people don’t feel empowered to push back on a deadline and are more likely to say yes to doing something, even if they have no idea how they will fit that in to their current workload. That’s a very simple recipe for disaster.

Set up frameworks

Once the root causes have been uncovered, then a plan can be hashed around what to do about it.

And generally speaking, it was a lack of frameworks around understanding accountability, what it means, and how to achieve it, that effectively created the problem in the first place.

If you are without clearly defined and implemented accountability frameworks then you really can’t expect to get accountability. It’s that simple.

If you would like everyone in your team to deliver on time, every time, please get in touch to discuss whether our workshop series or culture change programs targeting accountability might be relevant for you.