Accountability seems to increase with the chance for embarrassment. That is why scorecards work so well. It is a powerful concept for organizations that don’t want to be heavy handed in their consequences, either positive or negative, but still want to influence results through accountability. For example, one company created a scorecard comparing key people metrics for each unit in the organization. These are things that often don’t get the level of accountability they really need among leaders such as pay increase percentages, promotion rates, spans of control, external hire percentage, and ratio of payroll to revenue or total expense. It is interesting to see what happens when peer leaders get to see their own scorecard compared to others. In this case the first view of the scorecard was “blinded” so the name of the unit was substituted with a letter, A, B, C etc. Some leaders could not pick out their own unit. No embarrassment yet, but as the anomolies started to become apparent, for example, units with pay actions above the guidelines, units with an unusually high number of promotions, top heavy units, etc, the discomfort increased. When it was said that the scorecard would not be blinded in the future, and that it would be reviewed in meetings along with financial, product and customer scorecards, it was clear that leaders would now take accountability for the people actions in their units to avoid future embarrassment. Lesson learned, transparency increases the chance for embarrassment and thus accountability. Rather than protecting leaders from embarrassment, give them the chance to have to explain the results in their units. Don’t seek to embarrass people with scorecards, but the opportunity to avoid embarrassment is a powerful motivator and way to get focus on the things that matter most. What gets measured gets managed.