“My husband and I have six kids, four are his and three of them are mine.” Expecting confusion, Cathelijne Janssen starts with a personal example of how numbers can be better understood when placed in a model. In the case of her family situation, three children are placed on the left, two on the right and her youngest daughter in the middle. A model provides the context wherein numbers can be understood.
As founder of Cateau Communications, Janssen helps companies and government organizations approach the concept of accountability through responsibility. According to Janssen, the key to being a successful company is accountability, which she describes as “taking responsibility, acting responsible and feeling responsible about the results”. Simply put, it’s “doing the right things, and doing them right!”
Nevertheless, being accountable doesn’t lead to enthusiasm. In fact, we need a accountability model that is appealing. In her APPEAL accountability model, Janssen focuses on six particular aspects: Authenticity, Professionalism, Passion, Empathy, Acceptance and Leadership. In all of them, the human factor is added because numbers alone can be misleading and therefore need to be put in proper context.
Accountability is not about how much, but about the why, how and what: “Why do costumers find us interesting? How do we contribute to our goals? and What do we do to reach them?” By asking these critical questions, quality can be measured from the perspective of consumers. In order to be successful, Janssen says that we need to “stop counting and act appealing”.