Over the past few weeks I have been writing about ECI's High Quality Program framework (HQPs); and the resources available to your organization through our community. This post addresses the fifth and final principle; accountability. The subject is an ideal way to end this series because it focuses on what happens when, despite every best effort, somebody in an organization breaks the rules.
The way a company responds to a violation may be the most critical test of its commitment to ethics. As our Blue Ribbon Panel reported earlier this year, in companies with HQPs "the organization takes action and holds itself accountable when wrongdoing occurs." That means the organization responds quickly with rigorous investigations and follows the trail wherever it leads. It imposes serious discipline that fits the transgression - even if the perpetrator turns out to be a senior manager, a high performer or a well-liked employee.
Equally important, in a HQP, the company responds to misconduct as an opportunity to learn - to find out what went wrong, whether a systemic problem exists, and to take the corrective actions necessary to reduce the chances the problem will come up again.
ECI has assembled a number of events and resources to help organizations build HQPs. Our research looks at what happens when companies act with accountability and also when they don't. We design our conferences, webinars and our professional certification programs to help E&C professionals and their organizations build accountability into their cultures.
In the year ahead, we will be offering a number of events that can help. In January 2017, ECI's Fellows will look inside the C-Suite, the place where accountability must start, to see how top executives think about E&C challenges.
Later in the year, two Best Practice Forums, offer E&C practitioners a chance to compare notes on accountability and other attributes of HQPs. Our redesigned website, a new blog and other online resources provide other opportunities to share and to learn.
To make our efforts as successful as possible we need you to hold us accountable as well. Just as organizations want their employees to speak up to make things work better, we want to hear from you.
Building and sustaining HQPs is hard work that takes a lot of us pulling together. Please join our community, share your thoughts, and help us build an industry of HQPs.
Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, ECI