Why blame is such a silly thing to do!
In a sales training workshop I was running a participant argued that if he made a mistake with an order it was his fault, and his fault alone. I had been teaching systems thinking and how blame was not helpful for business.
For a start blame denies the essential nature of being human – that is: we are not perfect. It presumes that people are going to get everything right all of the time.
Blame restricts the free flow of ideas and learning when things go wrong. That makes progress and development difficult. People are afraid of being criticised and punished so they hide mistakes, sometimes with dire consequences. (The Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy can be attributed, in part, to a culture where small errors were not allowed to be talked about).
More importantly blame denies the fact that everything that happens is part of a system. In system thinking everything is connected. There is no single cause for any one outcome. There have been multiple factors that have contributed to this result. Some of these factors go back in time, even many years. Other factors involve people in the business and people external to the business. There is the recruitment, selection and training process. There are the resources that people have to work with. There is the current time factor, how much pressure are they under right now. Who else has had anything to do with this outcome.
Looking for someone to blame is usually just looking at the last person who was involved.
Next Week: Alternatives to Blame.
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