I like to use the following example to explain and assess different levels of accountability in organizations:
If there is a piece of trash on the floor in a regularly traveled hallway, what happens?
No Accountability: Pretend you don’t see it. Comment about the sins of the litterer or the ineptitude of the cleaning staff. Keep on walking.
Accountability: Keep on walking, then tell the cleaning staff they missed a spot. Or, chide the person in front of you for walking by it and point out how close the nearest trash can is.
Personal Accountability: Pick up the trash, throw it out, and go on with your day.
What is the typical response in your organization to a piece of trash on the floor? Perhaps a simple experiment is in order.