Our reimagined organisation needs accountable Execs at the top. They should work as a team, orchestrated by the CEO.
Each Exec must be a fully engaged participant in setting the corporate strategy, with involvement and understanding of the breadth of ambition.
Each Exec must be given accountability to deliver within their area of the corporate strategy, with the aligned boundaries clearly defined.
Each Exec must be given responsibility for the people, process and technology within their accountability.
In essence, this means a full-stack vertical responsibility. One Exec cannot be accountable for the end-outcome when another Exec is responsible for delivery of part of that service.
For example, it is common practice to move repetitive, transactional operations to a shared-service centre.
It is perfectly acceptable for there to be a senior leader responsible for the daily operation of the site (and if the shared-service centre is in an offshore location then it is essential). However, accountability remains with the Exec who has placed their operations there. This means that they must have ultimate say on who works for them, their pay, the processes they follow and the tooling they use. They may choose to follow documented and common best-practice for a cross-functional capability, but they are liberty not to.
Each Exec’s accountability should be clearly stated – and updated as needed – so that their authority is known.
The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions.
Therefore we must give our Execs this authority and expect them to use it.
If you'd like help with facilitating an Exec offsite to discuss roles and responsibilities, then we'd be pleased to have an introductory call.Get in touch
Next: Chief of Staff
A Chief of Staff works alongside their Exec as a force multiplier. There is so much noise that each Exec member needs someone to help manage strategy and innovation.