Accountability clubs seem to be springing up all over the place these days and I have been wondering what it is that is pushing the agenda, as similar clubs or groups like this have been around for years.

For the unacquainted, accountability clubs are primarily where you can use the help (some call it pressure) of a peer group of like-minded individuals to hold you to account and provide focus for taking some agreed steps forward within a certain period of time.

A quick trawl of the web reveals a range of clubs from the more eclectic Work Out and Water Drinking Accountability Club through to the more business focused Cambridge-basedAccountability Club who clearly got there first on the domain naming front.

The concept is even wider spread in the non-profit world with some interesting research on the concept performed by University of Washington in Seattle, which includes a section on what drives the success of the various groups. The most effective seem to be those that have a higher joining fee and implement more stringent standards of enforcement around the accountability issues that are being addressed.

Now accountability is not all they do of course; they also act as smaller networking enclaves enabling businesses to better understand and assist each other, as well as working as group coaching venues where all members can benefit from the best practice and wisdom of others. But what does the growth of the concept say about us all, when we need others to remind and urge us to make those difficult steps? Presumably we are happy to take on the easier tasks and we don’t need a club for them!

I recently joined one called a Mastermind Group, not so much for the accountability (or so I thought) but for the opportunity of getting access to reciprocal and high quality mentoring to help me grow the business. It will be fascinating to see whether sharing the accountability works or do I just need to take the responsibility myself and get on with it.

And one last thing, if you feel like you need to get in on the act, then there is help at hand on how to start up an accountability group yourself here.