Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Your Fault

Presented at the 2014 Self.Conference in Detroit on Friday May 30th with Gerry Kirk

Is your team pointing the finger at one another? Does development hold responsible the business and is the business accusing development? Is everyone too busy pointing the finger to address the problems? Discover how to recognize blame and move beyond it to foster a safe culture. Discover ways to change culture and leave with tools to help you initiate change immediately.


Blame Culture

To put it simply the impact of blame is that it can become viral, contaminating individuals and organization and quickly establishing a culture of blame. Blame may discourage feedback thus crippling learning. It discourages leadership which could stifle innovation and encourage a workforce of followers who do what they are told and agree with who wields the power. Focus is shifted to what does not matter instead of fixing what does. In the end what results is time, energy, and money invested in a temporary solution with no long term gain.

The Blame Mindset

When individuals embrace a blame mindset, they are focused on self preservation and focuses on the individual; therefore, what is considered is "WHO DID IT". The who did it thought process fosters fear that responsibility brings on the weight of sole accountability. It becomes difficult to listen if you are guarded and defensive and one can become hurt quickly. One can fear doing something to fix a problem despite having ideas for a solution.

The Responsible Mindset

The responsible, resolved mindset's concern resides with the system, organization, or customer and focuses on fixing what is wrong; therefore, what is considered is "HOW TO" resolve the issue. Team members listen and are emphatic because they understand that people make mistakes and that no value comes from blame. One trusts and accepts that there is shared ownership and that we fail and succeed together. It is understood that value is on the solution and with cooperation, collaboration and partnership it is attainable.

Empowered Environment

Characteristics of a low blame environment are an empowered workforce with a high morale, mutual trust and respect of team members, collaborative conversations, collaborative solutions, pairing accountability, quickly coming to agreements, and being solution focused where the norm is not "WHO DID IT but "HOW TO FIX IT".

Techniques to Explore

Changing mindsets and removing a blame culture can be done with a desire to evolve and curiosity. Exploring the following techniques will help you begin to change the culture of blame by fostering listening, understanding, allowing discovery and focusing on real solutions.

After trying these techniques for a while you may notice some changes. Keep with it and don't get discouraged if it fails the first time. Behaviors are learned, so rejoice in incremental improvements.

Remember Change Starts with You!

    1. Desire to Improve
    2. BE CURIOUS and listen
    3. Use what you learned here

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