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Plant an Accountability Tree

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As a company grows, it can become tough to keep track of who's responsible for what. "You have people constantly crossingfunctional lines," says Thomas G. Kamp, whose Premier Computer, formerly of Oklahoma City, grew in four years from 25people to 260. "It becomes easy for accountability to get lost."

That was hard on management. "I found myself not knowing who was responsible for ensuring proper turnaround time," saysKamp. So he devised a system for tracking each employee's accountability. At least once a year, all managers drewup a matrix specifying their responsibilities and those of each of the people under them. The matrix looked like this: Across thetop, employees' initials served as column headings. Down the side were different job tasks (such as internal growth planning)and limits of authority (such as being able to approve purchases of up to $500). After all the matrices were complete, they weredistributed in loose-leaf binders. "It's a reference tool," says Kamp.

There was another, equally important, payoff from the exercise. "By writing something down, people came to own it," he says.




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