Thursday Buzz: Accountability the Right Way

Accountability is important for any organization, but the way you go about generating it can make a huge difference. Also: Discover how nonprofits are using chatbots to achieve their goals, and find out how you can create your own.

What’s your organization’s philosophy on accountability? Does leadership hold people accountable for results and then fire them when they don’t deliver?

An Inc. columnist contends that this type of punitive accountability isn’t as effective as it could be. “The [organizations] that focus on creating accountability in others (opposed to holding others accountable) are the ones that are really strong,” says Jim Haudan, cofounder and CEO of Root.

Instead of simply setting up goals and then punishing people who don’t meet them, make sure your team feels confidence and encouragement. “If you pick the right people, you emotionally commit them to your goal, and literally commit them to it for a period of time as part of their career, you can get accountability much quicker,” Mike Thaman, CEO of Owens Corning, told Haudan. “The goal is to get leaders to bring people to accountability as something we all desire together.”

Haudan then offers up three ways to establish effective accountability. Start by providing context to your team members. “Be crystal clear about what you expect, how you will offer support, the outcomes you are looking for, how success will be measured, and what the consequences will be if the goals aren’t met,” he says. “Ask the other person what he or she heard so you can be sure everyone is on the same page.”

Betting on Bots

Not only are chatbots here, they’re already being created and used by nonprofits in innovative ways to help them achieve their goals.

“The World Food Program developed and tested the ‘FoodBot,’ a Facebook Messenger bot, to interact with the people they serve by providing information on WFP services, food prices, weather updates, nutrition, and disease prevention,” reports the GuideStar blog.

UNICEF created a bot that engages Twitter and Facebook Messenger users on policy issues. And Charity: Water’s bot is a virtual-reality avatar of a young Ethiopian girl who interacts with people to educate them on how laborious it can be to get clean water.

The GuideStar post also delves into the sticky ethical considerations of chatbots, how other for-profit and nonprofit orgs are using them, and how your group can get started creating its own.

Other Links of Note

A way forward after Facebook’s big changes? The Disqus blog shares other ways to build your audience without leaning on the social giant.

Volunteers can be an invaluable resource, but you need to pick the right ones. Engaging Volunteers reveals why you should interview your volunteers.

While we’re always on the search for the next way to reach potential donors, a Future Fundraising Now blog post says that old-fashioned tactics still work well.

(SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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