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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Flavour of blaming culture

Running and enjoying blaming culture in your company? It seems that blaming is easiest and most useless thing one could do while working on a project. 

What one might achieve with that kind of culture? It has got quite many "benefits" actually. Let's have a look at short example.
Johny has started to work as project manager on a brand new project. Scope of the project was to develop a software for a big shop. As we all know, there are always issues to be solved on a project and Johny has been working on them day by day. Time has passed and unfortunately, project deadline has not been met. "What a brilliant idea to find a victim" thought the project owner. It was enough to have just one meeting between project owner and sales guy to agree that the reason behind this all (delay, angry customer...) is Johny. Johny has been fired from the project and new, better and experienced project manager has been employed.  
One might argue "and what about follow-up discussions, steering groups, continuous feedbacks... it could help to solve Johny's problem", well, it could help but it didn't happened in the example. And maybe something even more, that is not something what these blamers are looking for. They need to find a person which is behind all the problems. Reasons, lessons learned and root causes are not needed actually.

So what do they get with this approach?
  • New project manager gets
    • Hero status
    • Inheritance of delayed project
    • Possibility and energy to make changes, because of his "fresh blood"
  • Project owner gets
    • Excuse why project is loosing money, because Johny did it wrong... of course. 
    • Solution for the upper management "Johny project manager is fired, don't worry we have got a new one! So everything is going to be fine."
  • Sales guys gets
    • Reason why everything went wrong (again Johny the project manager). 
    • Improvement for customer "The new project manger is better. You might expect pure gold since now." 
  • Johny (the old project manager) gets
    • Frustration 
    • No feedback, thus no improvement
    • Great experience with blaming culture 
How could we work in better way? So we all are really enjoying work with others in our company? 
  1. Don't blame others! It really doesn't help. Take constructive approach in action.
    • If you blame, you look like little child screaming on playground at your mom "heee has took me my paaail, tell him to returnt it back to meeee". 
    • Yes, blaming is awkward. 
  2. Give feedback
    1. Say honestly what is wrong, what is bothering you and give others feedback in this simple way. 
    2. You should do periodical feedback surveys - so you recieve feedback on a person not by supervisor, but by his/her colleagues and subcordinates. 
    3. If you are not sure how to give a feedback, use the google
  3. Believe that people want to enjoy work and beneficial collaboration with others.