Driving Backwards

August 23, 2016

Since your people are the drivers of your organization, getting accountabilities clear is critical to ensuring every aspect of the business is covered. It can be the difference between hitting quarterly goals or falling short. In the insights below, you’ll see why the Gazelles’ Function Accountability Chart (FACe) and Process Accountability Chart (PACe) are eye opening for many organizations. These tools not only help visualize the gaps and duplications, but get business leaders to quantitatively identify key metrics that are used to measure employees and track progress toward goals – something I’ve found most companies haven’t done.

I challenge you to carve out some time to review each chart and determine who is accountable for each function or process, along with the accompanying metrics. You can also adjust the function names to fit your company. Below are three areas that help you easily identify the gaps and duplications throughout your organization.

Rule of One

As we discussed in the first blog, only one person can be accountable for a function or process. While this may not apply to CEOs, it is mandatory to scaling up successfully.   

As you fill out the charts, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there an empty box?
  • Is there a box with more than one name?

If you answered “yes” to either question, the reality is no one is accountable.  While this may be difficult to admit, it is an actionable insight and starts the discussion on why the gap existed.  All the core functions included on the FACe chart affect your company success and growth. Another red flag is having more than one person accountable. If two people are accountable for customer service, neither one is accountable.

People Are Human

A good rule of thumb when evaluating both charts is to make sure no person is accountable for too much. Not only does it stretch them thin, it increases the likelihood of the goals not being reached equally or to full potential.

  • ‍Is there a name listed more than three times? 

Although small companies are the exception, it’s still critical to acknowledge the number of seats one person may be filling. This allows the team to honestly look at what can actually get done and what may be dropped. Otherwise, you’re having the same conversation at the end of year about why someone didn’t meet the goals.

Driving From Your Rearview Mirror

If you only do one thing today, start to identify leading indicators (also known as key performance indicators). Not only do they have the potential to propel you forward, they can also have the largest impact on goals. Why? Leading indicators are the difference between driving while looking ahead or behind you.

Just as there’s no such thing as a linear road trip, companies don’t exist in a silo. There are winding roads, potholes and hazardous weather conditions, but you navigate around what you see ahead through the front windshield. Simple logic, yet not the case for many companies. Instead of setting and monitoring leading metrics, they are waiting until the trip (or quarter) is over to look back and evaluate success. Basically, they are driving out of their rearview mirror and waiting until it’s too late to course correct. By setting leading indicators, business leaders can be aware of progress and make adjustments in real-time to ensure all goals are being met.


Have you clearly outlined all accountabilities? Do you know before the quarter ends how each function performed? Let’s get started today and steer your success in the right direction.