I’ve noticed a common problem in some of the places I’ve worked at: everyone’s responsible, no one’s accountable.
The words “responsible” and “accountable” are often used interchangeably in everyday language, but they can connote different things, especially when used in the context of work. Others have written about the difference between the two.
Merriam-Webster defines the difference as: “responsible” implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust; “accountable” suggests imminence of retribution for unfilled trust or violated obligation.
My own feelings lie closer to those of Christopher Avery, who says: I prefer to use the word Accountability to refer to making, keeping, and managing agreements and expectations. And I prefer to use the word Responsibility for the feeling of ownership.