There is often confusion between the terms responsibility and accountability. In some dictionaries responsibility is equated to accountability. Within the ERM context, responsibility and accountability are separated and clearly distinguished.
Accountability lives within the promise an individual makes to another. When a promise is made, the individual making the promise agrees to be held accountable for delivering on the promise. Accountability can be assigned. Specific accountabilities are explicit and implicit within each position.
Responsibility is different. No one can make someone responsible. Responsibility is a choice individuals make for themselves. Responsibility starts with knowing you can always make a difference and being willing to make a difference. This means that people, within an organization that fosters responsibility, will go well beyond their accountability to do whatever is necessary to succeed.
Within the ERM Process, team members will gain competency by developing:
- The distinctions around responsibility to break down the SILO view and stand for the success of the team and company
- The distinctions around accountability and to make promises with authenticity and integrity
- The skills to coordinate action rigorously
- Powerful skills to successfully resolve breakdowns
When people are willing to take responsibility, as a stand for the success of the team and company, they begin to see that they have something to do with everything around them. When this expands to everyone in the organization, this produces an empowered organization that will be able to produce extraordinary results.