What is The Accountability Chart™?

Have you ever watched little kids playing soccer?  I have.  Where the ball goes, the whole team goes.  Well, most of the team.  You’ll have a few stragglers picking flowers at the other end of the field, and you may have one or two sitting down.  There is no role clarity, they don’t understand their Accountability Chart. This is exactly the way most entrepreneurial business operate.  There are no clear positions and everyone sort of does what it takes when necessary.

The Accountability Chart is the ultimate tool to get every one in your business playing in the right positions.  The tool will help you get your people accountable to their results, with absolute role clarity. The Accountability Chart is a reporting structure.  It is an organizational chart on steroids.  Once complete, every person in the business will be 100% crystal clear on what role they play, what role others play, and what is expected of them.

If you want to grow and scale your business having absolute clarity for your people is a must.  It just may be the most important aspect of a business operating system that will help you perpetually grow your business and take it to the next level.

The Accountability Chart is the Ultimate Tool for Resource Planning

The Accountability Chart is the ultimate tool for resource planning.  When developing your accountability chart, you need to be looking out six to twelve months into the future.  With clearly identifying the roles each seat in your business and looking out into the near future, you will have an outline of the job descriptions of all the people you need to hire. When you have a complete, forward looking Accountability Chart, we recommend that you have a resource planning budget that will support the new roles financially.  This will help you become better planners and strengthen your ability to predict.

How Do I Create The Accountability Chart for My Company?

All organizational structures look very different.  I have multiple clients in the same industry, doing the same thing, and their charts are different.  I even have clients in the same franchise network with Accountability Charts that are different. In other words, there is no right way to structure your business.  It just has to provide total clarity for who is doing what and provide clear expectations. We believe that all organizations start with five major functions: Sales and Marketing , Operations, Finance, an Integrator and a Visionary.   To put it another way, you must have someone selling something to someone, you must have someone delivering the product or service, you have to have someone paying the bills, you have to have someone orchestrating, organizing and planning and you must have someone providing the vision for the organization. Your job is to customize these five major functions on your Accountability Chart so that it fits the way you work.  Here are a few ground rules when creating your chart.

  1. Only one person can sit in a seat
  2. One person may sit in multiple seats
  3. They must GWC™ the seat
  4. You must not create a seat to fit a person

We always start at the leadership team level.  Here is an example of the basic accountability chart as displayed in Traxion.io. Once you have the Leadership Team defined and clear, you can move on to the rest of the organization. There is a specific process we use in developing a great Accountability Chart.  We use the following order in creating a great chart.

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Step 1: Identify the Right Seats

First, you need to identify the right structure for the business.  Think about your process flows and revenue streams.  Is Sales and Marketing together or separate?  Do you have one, two or three operations functions?  Should finance be split into HR, IT and Finance? In addition to the Integrator, do you have a Visionary?

Step 2: Identify the Roles for each Seat

The next step in creating your chart requires you to develop 3-5 bullet points that describe what you expect each major role to deliver to the business.  In other words, define the roles and responsibilities for each function.  This is on a high level.  It should be enough to just put the bullets in the chart.  You can create another job description document if you need to go into great detail for each major role.

Step 3: Put Names in Seats According to Unique Ability®

The last step in creating your Accountability chart is putting names to the seats you’ve defined.  This is where it can get interesting.  Getting the right accountability chart requires everyone to be 100% open and honest.  It also requires that people are self-aware enough to be honest with themselves. In order for a name to go into a seat, the person must Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do it (GWC).   All three must be a “yes” or it’s a deal breaker.  The team needs to agree that the person selected for the seat GWC’s the role with 100% honesty.  If you aren’t going deep here the results you want will be as elusive and big foot.

What is the Ideal Team Size?

I often get asked this question, “what is the right team size for my company?”  We usually say 3-8 people.  We find that the bigger the team, you start to have diminishing returns for your team effectiveness.  The U.S. Military says 7 is the ideal size for the number of direct reports, while researchers have found that 4.6 is the right number.  While I’ve never met .6 people, the message is clear.  Less is more. If you have too many people in the room, your meetings will not go as smoothly, there will be less engagement and someone will always be holding back while the dominate voices…well, dominate.  This creates an unhealthy situation that is mostly ego filled versus doing what’s right for the business.  I strongly encourage you to create an accountability chart with no more than seven major functions including the Integrator and Visionary.

When Your Accountability Chart is Clear, Change is Inevitable

About 80% of the time when we implement EOS®, changes occur at the leadership team level.  The reason this will occur, is that most often companies take a all-for-one and one-for-all approach.  This will not help you get the growing, scalable business you want.  We often start the EOS process with clients that can have 2 or 3 people responsible for the same things.  There is no accountability for results in this situation. I encourage you to embrace the change and do what’s best for the organization to get you to the next level.