Ask any manager about accountability, he or she will tell you that if s a great thing to have. Ask how to get it, however, and the answers become vague, especially as many organizations move to self-managed cross-functional teams and semi-autonomous work groups.

Accountability often gets relegated to the bin of "antiquated thinking," a relic of "old hierarchical management." But the problem refuses to go away, because when things go wrong (or, just as important, when they go well), who gets the blame (or credit)?

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