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In the story of The Wizard of Oz, the characters show feelings of victimization and scapegoating in order to find proof of inefficiency or poor performance. These same feelings are reflected in organizations and people in the real world. If something is going wrong in the company, one tends to find excuses or blame external factors that are within our responsibility.

In the book "The Oz Principle" by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman, they talk about the existence of a thin line that separates us from achieving the success and from failure. Symbolically this line shows the difference between big and ordinary companies. Below the line (as it is called) we can find excuses, blame others and impotence. While above the line we can find reality, delivery and the search for solutions.

The authors point out the principle of Oz as follows: "What else can I do to act above the line and achieve the desired results?" With the help of this principle, you can achieve Individual Accountability, which will help us keep ourselves above the Line. The four steps to achieve this Individual Accountability are: Visualize, take control, solve and do so, prepare the organization to achieve the expected goal.


Assumes the value to put eyes on the fact, refers to the action to identify and visualize the situations as they really are. To be able to face, that if is within our power to overcome challenges and obstacles that show in the way to achieve our goal. To achieve this step, it is necessary to have feedback from others (friends, relatives, partners, customers, consultants or advisors). It is important to emphasize the perception of others, which will help us detect situations that we normally omit and that will have a full picture of the current situation


Find the value to Take Control, we generally focus on situations in which we feel that we are being victims or used. This second step suggests responsibility due to the circumstances that surround us. Those who take over their situations or circumstances do not allow for the actions of others or of something that interfere to catch and keep them "Below the line".

3rd. Step SOLVE IT

The third step to stand above the line is: Obtain the wisdom to solve it. It is not enough to see our real situation and accept our responsibility. It is important to face the problem and put aside all those obstacles that interfere to achieve the ultimate goal, this requires wisdom. The Solution begins with the preparation. One must be ready for whatever it may happen and expect the worst, so when it comes we can solve it quickly..

4th. Step TO DO

Finally, the achievement of personal accountability requires one last step: Exercise the means to do so, which means complete responsibility to achieve results and more important to do it. If we focus on this last step, all other efforts will be in vain.

The 4 steps above are focused on the achievement of personal Accountability, but how can one focus on this principle so it becomes a collective culture? The principle of Oz talks about Collective Accountability, through which it will help the organization to act on Above the line. There are 5 key activities that will help make the expected change in the collective attitude focusing them on accountability.

1. Train everyone on every level.
2. Coaching accountability (constant feedback).
3. Ask questions considered Above the line: "What aspects of this situation is likely to drag us below the line in the future?" and "What can we control and what can we not in this situation?"
4. Rewarding accountability.
5. Getting people to become responsible (accountable). Individuals choose to See it, decide to Take Control, personally work to solve it and then individually undertake to do so.

The final message that the Oz Principle seeks to convey is: just when you assume total accountability of their thoughts, feelings, actions and results, one can direct their own destiny, otherwise, something or someone else will do it for you.

Connors, Rogers, Craig Hickman, and Tom Smith.
The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability.
Prentice Hall Press, 1998.

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