Must avoid mistakes for business survival 4/5: Blame culture

By Bruce McGregor

Company culture is tested when things go wrong. The same results tend to be seen across organisations, whether you are on the “shop floor,” or in the executive’s inner circle. Friendly banter turns to finger-pointing and the workplace ‘soundtrack’ changes.

The blame game develops like the plot of a bad crime drama: first there is the search for a scapegoat, generally based on hunches, bias, and suspicion; the scapegoat is made to pay; the person is undermined, ostracised, and marginalised; and then it’s all over.

Was the root cause of the problem addressed? No. Have we learnt anything? No. Are we able to take steps to avoid another blame game down the track? It seems not.

Cut the blame, catch the cause

2020 is placing every organisation under a new type of pressure. Many areas of our businesses – operational and customer-facing – are not working as planned. If you don’t have a better game to play than the blame game, everyone will be busy ducking and weaving instead of working to solve the real problems. As the senior leader you may not want to hear the whispers that drive the blame game, but you need to pay attention to the problems at their centre, or the damage could be irreparable.

Shielding IT

IT departments have always copped their fair share of blame – and more – often because they are an easy target when accountabilities across organisations are unclear or ambiguous. With 2020 creating an avalanche of constantly changing business demands and priorities, it is crucial that IT departments aren’t distracted by the blame game. This means clarifying accountabilities, decision rights and priorities across the organisation – issue by issue if necessary.

But how do you do this when most people in your organisation are still working remotely? Achieving this clarity and mobilising teams to work together to understand the root problems is a challenge at the best of times. It can also be a huge drain on time and resources if not managed properly. You need a solution that is fast and effective. This is where Brooke can help.

Our proven techniques and the experience of our people combines the best elements of co-creation, collaboration, design thinking and problem solving and accelerates them through a facilitated service we call Shift Rapid Problem Solving lab.

Brooke : rapid change | meaningful outcomes