Over the last several months we’ve been talking about The Adult Contract and how implementing Ownership Thinking involves creating an environment of high visibility and high accountability in an organization. If the organization was operating with a fairly low level of visibility and accountability in the past, this new way of operating will undoubtedly create anxiety in some employees.
The Adult Contract is an “agreement as to how people ought to treat one another in this new environment of visibility and accountability.” We encourage you to talk openly with your employees about anything that comes up. In his book Ownership Thinking: How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose, and Profit, Brad Hams says, “Let employees know that it is new for everyone, including you, and that everyone will be taking this journey together. Reinforce the fact that nobody is perfect at anything when they are learning for the first time; we get better by practicing … Talk them through The Adult Contract, and tell them to be watching for nonadult behavior, starting with themselves.”
Brad relates the story of a company where the leaders “recognized that historically they had something of a fear-driven environment and that people were familiar with “getting shot.” To introduce The Adult Contract, everyone in the company received a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. The idea was that if any employees made a mistake or tried out something that didn’t work, they had this card to let them off the hook. Of course if was symbolic, but it made a great point and did so in a lighthearted manner.”
Until next time,
Perry Phillips, President
Ownership Thinking Canada Inc.
Visit www.ownershipthinking.ca to learn more about Ownership Thinking Canada and our new online e-learning tool.