It’s really very simple, if an organization’s culture was really an accountable culture then sexual misconduct could not persist. And, while it probably wouldn’t happen in the first place, at the first sign that sexual misconduct reared it’s ugly head it would be cut off and eliminated in an instant.
Accountability would not allow sexual misconduct to take root.
People talk about “open secrets” that accompanied the actions of Harvey Weinstein and others. Inappropriate behavior would never be an “open secret” in an organization where there was an accountable culture. It would not be tolerated. It would not be accepted.
Sexual harassment is a devaluing of people. In an accountable culture you do not have a devaluing of people. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. In an accountable culture leadership works tirelessly to make sure that all people are valued and feel valued. People make different and better decisions when they know they have a voice, when leadership cares about them.
Many times people who are lower on the organizational chart or hold a position in society with less power feel that they will not be heard or that their word is not as respected or believed like someone who has power, position or money. They are afraid to speak because they may lose their job or lessen their opportunity.
In a culture that values accountability the “unknown” people are just as important as the “known” people. They are all people. They all have value. And, the values of the community, society or organization apply to all of them equally.
The leader of a company that truly values accountability creates an environment, a culture, where everyone feels valued and safe. Leadership creates a place where everyone feels that they can speak up and that their job will not be in jeopardy. It is in this organizational culture that people feel free to be creative, innovate process and say when something is wrong.
In this culture all the people know that the goal is to be better. They know that everyone from the CEO to the person emptying the trash cans have the right and the responsibility to speak up when they see something that can be improved or is wrong.
This is a way of thinking, that we have values, we live those values and everyone is accountable to each other for the values. This is something to want to aspire to, to be an accountable culture. And, companies and leaders that are doing the right thing want an accountable culture. They want a place where people want to be. It is in this culture that the best and brightest are attracted and retained.
People need to feel safe. When leadership creates an accountable culture, one based on the absolute, non-negotiable, adherence to a set of values, leadership create a safe place. In this accountable culture anything morally wrong like sexual misconduct simply will not be permitted.