I feel a rant coming on again. My favourite target is the Today programme on Radio 4 where the interviewers (all of them), if they are not asking their subject "Do you think......?" then they are asking "Who do you blame?". They usually take it a step further to suggest that "heads must roll", "resignation is the only way forward" and so on.
There have been two outstanding examples of the blame culture in the past week. Firstly, President Obama has spent most of the time ranting and railing against BP who undoubtedly have much to answer for, but are at least taking action to try to solve the problem. The President seems to be motivated more by the forthcoming mid-term elections than by offering some solutions to a desperately complex technical problem. His constant harping on, blaming BP for everything, without offering any solutions, does nothing to put the situation right.
The other instance is the appalling massacre in Cumbria, where that pillar of moral probity, the Daily Mirror, is blaming the Cumbian police force for "not catching the killer sooner".
The job of the armchair critic is a simple one. Find a difficult situation, criticise and blame someone for not doing something, then lean back with a self-satisfied look, having solved the problem.
An important function of good management is the ability to delegate tasks without appearing to interfere in the implementation. This demands a high level of trust to allow the task to be completed, preferably in a legal manner, conforming to the company's values, and to time. Probably it won't be done in the way that you would have done it, but does that matter as long as these criteria are maintained?
What is absolutely essential is that it must be done in a "no-blame" environment to eliminate any fear of retribution if things do not go according to plan. That demands not only trust on the part of management, but also some courage to accept that results may not go right. Blame only generates fear, resulting in a reluctance to take any responsibility with consequential upward delegation.
Rant over. I'll listen to Chrsi Evans instead of Today for a while.
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