Your brand is one of your most valuable assets, and a culture of accountability is going to help you protect it. A brand is a promise, and you need to remember who you’re ultimately accountable to. Ignoring that bond of trust between you and that final accountable party, whether it’s a patient or a customer, is going to damage your brand. This comes out a lot during a crisis situation. How you handle crises or shortfalls can make or break your brand, and a culture of accountability is what’s going to drive the behaviors in those situations.
For example, Johnson & Johnson had an issue with Tylenol. Some of the pills had been tampered with. Rather than sitting there and figuring out are there specific markets or types of packaging that have been tampered with, they just said “We’re accountable to our customers.” They pulled all the product off the shelves despite the huge negative financial implication of doing so, but by taking that action decisively, they strengthened that brand and that bond of trust between them and consumers.
Contrast that with the auto industry. Many times in the auto industry, we’ve heard of safety issues with a vehicle being covered up or ignored because the manufacturers knew it would have a large financial cost to do a recall. Eventually, it always came to light. People found out, and that bond of trust was broken between the manufacturer and the driver, and ultimately, it damaged that brand.
Contrast that with another auto manufacturer, Tesla Motors. They had an issue that was a safety concern. They immediately looked at it and said, “This is a problem. Let’s recall the vehicles, spend the money, fix them, make them safe, and get them back in the hands of our drivers.” In doing so, they strengthened their reputation and their bond of trust between them and the driver, and that culture of accountability is what drove that decision.
As you think about your organization and strengthening your brand, clearly communicate who people are accountable to. Offer stories for them of expected behaviors. Let people know this is what great looks like. Make those values highly visible, and when people do it well, celebrate broadly. If they fall short, provide the feedback and make the change because it’s the sum of those daily behaviors that is going to build and strengthen your brand.
Want to learn more about building accountability into your culture? How about taking an entire course on it? Check out the video below to learn more about the course and get started. Or you can go directly to the course and start learning how to build accountability into your culture. The entire course is available at LinkedIn Learning. Enjoy!
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