Solutions vs. Blame | Choose Solution-Oriented Culture Over Blame Culture

This blog post originally appeared on Press Start Leadership

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of organizations face a lot of problems, and I’m always amazed when I see them jump into blame mode versus solution-seeking mode. I’ve never seen a situation improve by finding someone to blame. It lowers morale and ignores the problem that still needs fixing. Organizations often spend too much time upfront asking how did it happen? and who did it? instead of how can we solve it? and who can solve it? It’s wasted energy when they need to be moving forward.

There’s nothing gained from the negativity of blame culture. Usually an employee is already embarrassed they made a mistake, or worse, they’re worried about keeping their job. Blame culture doesn’t stop mistakes—it causes people to hide them. I’ve worked at a lot of companies where people were afraid to bring up mistakes, even though no one was in danger of being fired. Management’s reaction was always asking who messed up, which made people afraid, and ultimately caused more problems.