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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... The wrongs of Watergate, Penn State, Enron, WorldCom and Tyco all started at the top.  That's precisely where organizational culture finds its roots. People look to leaders to set the tone..."What's the Fix?"  The authors cite the following as a leader's accountability behavior: Always tell the truth.  Do what you say you'll do. Provide honest feedback to whoever needs to hear it.  Fess up to your mistakes.  Don't make excuses, or let others make them.  Don't dodge issues; deal with them quickly..."
 - Jim Pawlak, Biz Books Columnist, Dallas Morning News

"It was so refreshing to see a business-oriented, yet completely life-related, book on accountability...The authors make it clear that accountability is not the easy road but that it is the more worthwhile road to take. They also make it very clear that people in positions of leadership need to illustrate the principles they outline in their book. I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, and I applaud them for teaching accountability to their business clients (and for writing this book)." - Kandy Williams -New Consciousness Review



Culture Without Accountability WTF? What s the Fix? by Julie Miller and Brian Bedford (Criffel Publishing, $13.99). Accountability (n.) a personal willingness, after the fact, to answer for the results of your behaviors and actions. Being accountable builds character, trust and respect. It s all about the difference between right and wrong. When wrong choices are made, the people involved often play Blame Game, or try to cover things up. Why? They re afraid of the consequences. That fear overcomes their knowledge of right and wrong. It also overcomes their fear of the truth which comes out eventually. Watergate caused the resignation of a President, and prison terms for 43 members of his staff. The Penn State scandal damaged the university s reputation and its costs include $6.5 million in legal fees and over $70 million in fines all because coaches and senior administrators put football ahead of doing the right thing. The wrongs of Watergate, Penn State, Enron, WorldCom and Tyco all started at the top. That s precisely where organizational culture finds its roots. People look to leaders to set the tone. Every time leaders make decisions, they signal what is important to the organization. Their words and actions define and reinforce corporate values. What s the Fix? The authors cite the following as a leader s accountability behavior: Always tell the truth. Do what you say you ll do. Provide honest feedback to whoever needs to hear it. Fess up to your mistakes. Don t make excuses, or let others make them. Don t dodge issues; deal with them quickly. When judging performance, employees need to know they will be accountable not only for results, but also how they go about their work. Managers, as frontline accountability role models, have the responsibility for communicating the need to do the right things the right way. Bedford s saying, As above, so below captures another of the authors WTF message Why They Follow. --Jim Pawlak - Biz Books

Culture Without Accountability: What s the Fix? is a quick but useful read by authors Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, owners of MillerBedford Executive Solutions. This husband and wife consulting team became concerned with the lack of accountability they were seeing in the companies they helped, and they wrote this book as both a definition of the problem and a program to remedy it. Divided into five sections, the book contains definitions, a multitude of examples, an analysis of the economic benefits of accountability, and a four-part plan for implementing greater accountability in the workplace. Although this book is primarily aimed at the business world, Miller and Bedford look at the deep need for accountability for all levels of our culture, from family to the political arena. Their book will also have a special appeal for sports fans because so many of the examples they use come from the world of athletics, including such horrible examples as the Sandusky scandal at the Pennsylvania State University and the cover up following the deaths of Liverpool soccer fans at Hillsborough stadium. These are, thankfully, balanced by the positive examples of Major League Baseball Umpire Jim Joyce and Alex Ferguson of Manchester United. The true strength of the book, however, is not its finger pointing at the examples. Miller and Bedford issue a call to all of us as individuals to model the accountability we want in our organizations. Culture Without Accountability: What s the Fix? is a concise exploration of an unfortunately common problem. I recommend it for anyone who would like a practical guide to a solution. --Gail Sosinsky Wickman - Readers' Favorite

Based on their joint experiences in senior global leadership at Motorola, Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, a married force, became MillerBedford in 2001, consulting with companies to address organizational issues, with specific emphasis on strategy, culture, and leadership in the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, all major European countries, South Africa, and Israel. MillerBedford helps businesses and organizations improve strategy, culture, and leadership, while addressing issues that limit success. They have extended their powerful influence now into the field of the written word, and after reading this short but hefty and informative book, it is obvious that not only is their preoccupation with accountability pertinent to business and government, but also to interrelationships among us all as world citizens. Their definition of accountability: `a personal willingness, after the fact, to answer for the results of your behaviors and actions.' And it is only after reading this carefully constructed plan of change that their mission is fully appreciated. `True accountability is not just about making the right choices, or doing the right thing, it's our willingness, after the fact to answer for the results of our actions.' They offer excellent example stories about people who have fully adopted accountability into their job (the story of an airline pilot taking responsibility for a frustrating delay in takeoff after a storm in Texas is memorable). They offer equally informative and cogent examples of organizations who do not interject accountability into their thought system, the Penn State mismanagement of the Jerry Sandusky scandal being a prime example. The MillerBedford Four Steps to Accountability are as follows: Share your accountability vision, Bring accountability to life, Weave accountability into the fabric of your organization, and Model the way. Each of these steps is thoroughly discussed. Set an example as a leader, work with the group to flesh out the example and goals you have set, accept flaws and own them and take responsibility for results an in doing so a leader gains the respect of employees - and parents following these steps can expect better responses from their children. Multiply all of this and apply it to the way each of us can use these concepts in our daily functions as people and watch the world's humanistic glow return. Shakespeare had it with Polonius' maxim: `This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.' This is an important book on many levels. Read it and understand how we actually can change the chaos of the world in which we live. Highly Recommended --Grady Harp - Literary Aficiondao

About the Author

In 2001, drawing on their respective years of experience in senior global leadership at Motorola, Julie Miller and Brian Bedford joined forces to establish MillerBedford Executive Solutions. MillerBedford helps businesses and organizations improve strategy, culture, and leadership, while addressing issues that limit success. And their clients actually have fun in the process!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Criffel Publishing; First edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098984692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989846929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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An easy to read book.
Neo
The examples and solutions shared are very applicable to any organizations and to our daily lives.
Vivien Woo
Bravo Julie and Brian, well done!
Delicia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
While reading this book I was reminded of the quote by Josiah Stamp, "It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities."

From my vantage point, it seems our culture has been trying to dodge our responsibilities for a long time. We seem more and more comfortable with "letting things slide, taking the soft option, hiding the truth, - the things that make up the path of least resistance." In the short term, this path seems easier, but in the long term, avoiding accountability always leads to larger problems.

Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, authors of Culture Without Accountability, have written an informative and insightful work on the our declining accountability, the impact it is having on the workplace, our world and how we can go about fixing the problem.

Ms. Miller and Mr. Bedford write in a very conversational style. The book is relatively short and easy to read. The problem is well defined and the solution is clearly articulated - but that does not diminish the difficulty of actually holding people accountable. As the authors point out, "...holding other people accountable is really, really hard."

The subtitle of the book is WTF? What's the Fix? The authors are using a play on the very popular phrase WTF? In the book there are chapters on 1) What's the Foundation 2) What the Fuss 3) What're the Fundamentals 4) What're the Facts 5) Why They Follow 6) Why the Fix 7) What's the Fix 8) With Tenacious Focus and 9) Want to Fix?

Each chapter provides a brief discussion of the issues, the impact the lack of accountability is having on our lives and how and why we should be more concerned about holding people accountable.
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Format: Paperback
Based on their joint experiences in senior global leadership at Motorola, Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, a married force, became MillerBedford in 2001, consulting with companies to address organizational issues, with specific emphasis on strategy, culture, and leadership in the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, all major European countries, South Africa, and Israel. MillerBedford helps businesses and organizations improve strategy, culture, and leadership, while addressing issues that limit success. They have extended their powerful influence now into the field of the written word, and after reading this short but hefty and informative book, it is obvious that not only is their preoccupation with accountability pertinent to business and government, but also to interrelationships among us all as world citizens.

Their definition of accountability: `a personal willingness, after the fact, to answer for the results of your behaviors and actions.' And it is only after reading this carefully constructed plan of change that their mission is fully appreciated. `True accountability is not just about making the right choices, or doing the right thing, it's our willingness, after the fact to answer for the results of our actions.' They offer excellent example stories about people who have fully adopted accountability into their job (the story of an airline pilot taking responsibility for a frustrating delay in takeoff after a storm in Texas is memorable). They offer equally informative and cogent examples of organizations who do not interject accountability into their thought system, the Penn State mismanagement of the Jerry Sandusky scandal being a prime example.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Ippolito on December 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
The husband and wife team who wrote this book had the aim of keeping it short enough that the reader could finish it in the time it takes to complete an average airplane flight. Although it is purposefully a short book, it is also a true resource that will be turned to again and again.

The first task of the text is to help the reader understand what accountability is, as well as to stress the importance of insisting upon it. The reader is provided with examples of poor accountability as well as shining examples of integrity and responsibility. A favorite example of accountability is the story of an airline pilot who took responsibility for a series of delays and greatly surprised the passengers with his words and actions in the wake of their frustration and disappointment.

Next is arriving at a comprehension of what is meant by culture. In this case, the authors mean corporate culture, although examples from the sports world are provided as a means of understanding the workings of culture in the business world.

One of the most helpful and enlightening sections is that on feedback. The reader is provided with techniques on how to solicit effective and useful feedback through the S.I.S. method (Situation, Impact, Suggestion.) Through such techniques, everyone in the corporate culture benefits and accountability is strengthened.

I recommend this book for business managers who would like to make positive changes in their workplace as well as for leaders who want to strengthen and improve their office environments.
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