To enable actionable accountability, establish clear measurement criteria based on roles and responsibilities. Then enable people to act and challenge the metrics to align to a new business model allowing them to measure that progress. Remember that criteria should be cross-functional and applied through organizational lines of authority. In addition, measurements should roll up and be visible from entry-level workers all the way to executive leadership.

This approach is “actionable” because it prioritizes empowering employees to do their jobs in a way that supports digital transformation. And it ensures change is happening as it should—both rapidly and in a way that maximizes value. It’s about “accountability” because places where execution diverges from strategy can be quickly identified enabling the appropriate people to make corrections to stay on track.

At Cisco, we strive to achieve transparency in how our transformation unfolds. This is a daily focus which requires commitment to challenge business-as-usual.  At every turn, my partners in finance and operations and I ask: Is a given action improving value for our customers? Is it actually accretive to shareholder value? Is it moving the needle on our main digital transformation KPIs?

Given the accelerating pace of change, measuring accountability with outdated policies, procedures, and tools doesn’t work. Companies that win will measure and manage their transformation in as close to real time as possible. Companies that execute and manage in the rearview mirror will eventually give way to more agile and innovative competitors.

By developing a core managerial and organizational competency of actionable accountability, you will unleash and direct the power of your most vital asset—empowered employees. Clarity drives speed.  Empowered employees drive organization innovation.
In my next post, I plan to talk about what leaders need to do to reinvent their operating models and the importance of putting equal focus into portfolio innovation to drive a holistic digital transformation.


Kevin Bandy

No Longer with Cisco