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Accountability

The new Labour leader in the UK has been asking thee government to publish their plans and their exit strategy for coming out of the lockdown.

The role of the Opposition in a Democracy is to do precisely this. To ask tough questions of the government to ensure that they are held accountable for doing the work that they are expected to do.

There is good evidence for this model working when it comes to governments. There is also good evidence for such accountability working when structured in a very different way.

In my previous company, Booking.com, every product team had the freedom (and the responsibility) to choose the features they wanted to work on and release them. However, the release process itself was such that the decision making criteria were immediately published to anyone in the company that was interested in reading them. This enabled peers to hold each other accountable to the decisions they were making.

Accountability is crucial on two fronts - to ensure we are doing the right thins and to ensure we are doing things right.

On a personal level, some find it helpful to have someone (a friend or a manager) hold them accountable. Some others prefer the public to hold them accountable and post their goals and their work on social media. And others hold themselves accountable by rigorously documenting their own goals and their work.

There is no correct way as each of these are equally effective depending on who is using them.

But when there is no accountability, that's when things start to go awry.

How do you hold yourself accountable?

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