The Accountability Clock: Building Accountability in the Workplace

How to transition from being a stuck clock to a working clock


The book is the result of two years of work by authors Paramjit Singh and Sandeep Kaul, who firmly believe that until each and every person becomes accountable for his own self, his company and his nation, India will never be counted amongst the best in the world.

Singh and Kaul offer a framework that is workable and can be easily implemented to increase what they call the ‘accountability quotient’ at the workplace.

Dividing individuals and organisations into two categories of action and inaction, the authors label the members in each of these two categories as Stuck Clocks and Working Clocks.

The traits associated with ‘stuck clocks’ are the tendency to make excuses to escape action, blaming others for everything, feeling of helplessness, confusion and the urge to avoid accountability amongst other things.

Working clocks, on the other hand, are those who have a sense of reality, ownership, commitment and a desire to obtain solutions to problems through action.

While the book guides the readers on how to make real changes in the manner of working and be accountable for one’s tasks and goals, it also draws on learnings from various episodes from the Mahabharata. Using characters from the great epic, it drives home the factors and elements that differentiate winners from losers. The authors focus on the fact that Krishna’s existence in the human form was for the very purpose of fixing the wrong, through Arjuna.

Written in the backdrop of the pandemic, this work guarantees to uncover the best in the readers and inspire them to get into action so that they can transition from being ‘stuck clocks’ to ‘working clocks’.

The eight chapters are replete with case studies — from Satyam Computers’ takeover by Tech Mahindra; the reasons for the failure of a successful organisation, such as Kingfisher Airlines; the downfall of the Sahara Group and even the manner in which Sachin Tendulkar’s and his pal, Vinod Kambili’s careers went in two very different directions.

While the authors are honest about not giving any quick-fix solutions, they do clarify that their approach is a practical one, to help get over the ‘chalta hai’ attitude that has enslaved the Indian population. The sole objective of the content — which is interspersed with exercises that push readers toward reflection and self-evaluation — is to help the audience achieve enhanced levels of individual, company and country accountability.

Drawing attention to the fact that only 4.18 per cent of the adults in India pay taxes, the authors question the accountability of the Government, that seems to be planning to feed the poor of the country — who form about 61 per cent of the population — with this low contribution.

The frustration within Kaul and Singh comes across when they point out how Indians are conveniently stating their helplessness because “the power of taking action lies somewhere else”; and how the citizens merely look for excuses not to act; and how the public enjoys watching the sensational side of things and how the media fuels that liking.

The authors have endeavoured to assist the readers in finding out the core elements that separate those who play victims of circumstances from the achievers! Simply put, the work inspires readers to become working clocks.

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