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Mind the gap

Optimize Blog - July 21, 2010 - 0 comments

Here at Zeitgeist we talk about accountability a lot and as we have stated before we are constantly asked by clients for help in becoming better at holding people accountable.
So here is a question for our readers – “What does accountability have to do with dead badgers, road markings and Hampshire County Council?” The answer is “Everything” if you happen to live in Hampshire in the UK.
Let us explain. An unfortunate badger is struck by a car, killed and the body lies in the road for several days. The carcass remains right in the centre of the road – right where the white lines will be painted to separate traffic lanes. The line painting crew comes along, painting their nice straight lines when they are confronted by the poor, unfortunate and no doubt by this time slightly smelly dead badger.
Ask yourself what would you do? The line painting crew? They simply turn off the paint, move past the dead badger and then turn the paint on again leaving a nice gap for the remains of the badger to lie in, undisturbed by human hand……
The response from the line painting crew was that it wasn’t their responsibility to remove the dead animal so they “did what they thought was best”. We could debate the definition of ‘best’ for some time no doubt…….
Hampshire County Council is responsible for the line painting but New Forest District Council is responsible for clearing road kill. The two failed to arrange the clearance before line painting began.
The moral of the story is that if no one is accountable or is accountable but fails to execute on their accountability, the outcomes and results are rarely satisfactory. So next time you are having trouble getting someone to be accountable, relate the story of our poor unfortunate badger and the gap in the white lines that pays stark tribute to accountability and responsibility……………don’t allow gaps in your white lines.

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