July 24, 2014

Stop Placing Blame and Understand the Why.

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Leaders don’t worry about the who.  Leaders figure out the why and fix it.

When a problem occurs don’t worry about who did what or find fault.  The important thing is to figure out the problem, contain it and then determine why it happened.

Too often people are worried about covering their tracks and start looking to place blame elsewhere.  This is usually a learned behavior.  The person has gotten beaten up by their boss in the past for making a mistake.

When we start to justify our actions or argue that is not our fault it does not help the situation.  After all the arguing we are still right back where we started…dealing with the problem.  The only difference is now people are mad and may not be thinking clearly, the relationship is strained AND we have let the problem live longer than it should have.

One of the principles of lean is to focus on learning.  How does arguing about fault help the learning process?  It doesn’t.  If it adds no value then it must be waste.  Aren’t we trying to eliminate waste, not add it?

This is not something that is easy to change but it is something that we can start to practice right away and without permission, approval, or a capital request.  Next time remember it isn’t important who create the issue but it is important to understand why the issue occurred.

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  • http://www.ganeshmuthiah.com ganeshmuthiah

    Hi Matt,
    Interesting post :-)
    What will be your approach in dealing with solving the problem without looking at “WHO”?

    For example- in some of Asia, people associate failure with shame and that makes them to be auto defensive. How will you open up a conversation or at least make them to answer the “WHY”

    Just curious to know how you will tackle the WHY without