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A Simple Tool To Create Team Accountability and Alignment

February 17, 2023

Tim Almack

In his book “The 3×5 Coach,” David Baney introduces a powerful coaching technique that uses a simple 3×5 inch index card to help individuals achieve their goals. While this technique can be used for a variety of personal and professional pursuits, one particularly useful application is in creating job descriptions and an accountability and alignment system for a team or organization. Here’s how to do it:

Start with a blank 3×5 card and have the coach (you might call him/her a manager) and a team member simultaneously perform this exercise:

  • On the front of the card, write the position title. On the back of the card, write the top five reasons a person holding this position gets paid, and rank them from the most to least important. These are the team member’s accountabilities.
  • Next to each of the accountabilities, write a metric or key performance indicator (KPI) for performance measurement. (Or how that team member knows if they are doing a good job.)
  • Now the coach and team member have a one-on-one discussion to agree on the accountabilities and KPIs to be on the final 3×5 card.
  • The team member will now write their name on the front of a Post-it Note and write one or two things on the back of the Post-it Note that they will do for personal growth over the next year. The personal growth items may or may not be work related, and all are acceptable.
  • Schedule weekly, monthly, and quarterly coaching sessions with each team member. During these sessions, discuss their progress towards their KPIs and personal growth items, celebrate successes, and address any challenges they may be facing. This will provide an opportunity for the team member to receive feedback and for the coach to offer support and guidance.
  • To begin implementing, start at the top by having the owner/CEO prepare their own 3 x 5 card along with a board member or executive coach, and then filter the process down through the leadership team and then through the rest of the organization.

By using the 3×5 card in this way, you can create a simple, fast, and effective system for creating job descriptions, holding team members accountable, and aligning your team towards a common goal. The 3×5 card can also be used in recruiting and interviewing to fill an open position as it provides both the interviewer and the candidate a common understanding of the job function and how the candidate will be evaluated.

Need help developing a job scorecard for your team? Contact Tim Almack, Certified Scaling Up Coach.

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