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The Oz Principle examines the role of accountability in the achievement of business results and the improvement of both individual and organizational performance. The full title of the book is The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability and is essentially a book about leadership written by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman in 1994. The title, of course, is an allusion to Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and interestingly discusses results and accountability and improvement in regards to both individuals and organizations.
Part one is entitled “The Oz Principle: Getting Results through Accountability” and the first chapter in that part is entitled “Off to See the Wizard: Searching for Greater Accountability in Business.” As such, it is only 15 pages long, but packs quite a punch. The chapter begins with a description of the original novel as a “journey of awareness,” which is exactly what this book wants to be a journey of as well: the awareness of the need for accountability. In short, Dorothy, stop blaming everyone but yourself because you had the power all along, no be accountable for it. Now, in the first chapter, Connors admits the following:
Most companies fail because of managerial error, but not many CEOs and senior executives involved will admit that fact.
Connors claims that it is time for accountability for these high level executives. Here Connors gives many examples of this fact from companies such as Lucent and Xerox (as the prime examples) of executives not wanting to take the fall for bad news on Wall Street. Excuses were key. Connors’ point is now wondering, “Can the wizards help?” in reference to “management wizards” who can help restore a company through productivity. In fact, many of these “wizards” have been hired and helped their companies achieve success.
In later parts of the chapter (and in conclusion to your question), Connors goes into naming the different people in all parts of the company that have a part of the accountability, all the while, he continues referencing Baum’s Wizard of Oz in that Dorothy is always swayed by smoke and mirrors as she moves toward the truth. Connors concludes his first chapter with the idea that accountability has true power, and it is this harnessed power that can help lead companies to greater success.
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