Don’t let the blame game cancer kill its host: Your business or career

I needed to apologize

Most recently, we launched our social enterprise company, Mamávida. It is an exciting time for me personally, and our wonderful young team. Our business is fortunate to have each and everyone of our team members. They are driven by Mamávida’s vision and the collective opportunity we share with all stakeholders.

With any young team, there come challenges. This past week, the blame game cancer showed its ugly self when a meeting with a potential alliance partner, didn’t go as planned. Why:

  1. Two marketing team members failed to show up for a scheduled call and it was critical to have their participation.

  2. When I reviewed what happened with two other call attendees and provided insights on how they can improve, they became defensive. The couldn’t understand how there were things they could do to prevent the same thing from happening. I was told, we shouldn’t need to be babysitters.

If you want to see me lose my cool, have someone tell me that they are a victim of circumstances and that others are to blame. When we blame people, we take what is believed to be the easy way out and we become the victims of the actions of others.

Regarding the meeting, none of our team members used the TEAMS’ calendar properly. The two required attendees didn’t confirm their meeting participation when they got the invitation. The meeting organizer didn’t verify in advance of the meeting, that all individuals would be attending. The root cause off the meeting failure, the failure to have clear standards to ensure compliance by all.

While I did apologize, I can’t allow this to happen again. Especially when I know how to prevent this cancer from growing in our business. I am taking this opportunity to write about this situation and use it as a means to deliver the required team training this week. The training will be supported by a code of conduct standards that will require compliance by all.

How does a blame game cancer grow

  • The simple answer, business leaders allow it to. If a blame game culture takes hold in Mamávida or EISA, I am the only one who needs to look in the mirror. Here are some of the other contributing factors causes:

  • Fear of repercussions: Employees might feel that owning up to their mistakes will lead to negative consequences such as being reprimanded, or losing their job. 

  • Poor communications: When there is a lack of effective communication systems and standards in a business, it can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Employees might blame each other for not communicating effectively, which can cause a blame game culture to develop.

  • Toxic leadership: If the company’s leaders consistently blame others for their mistakes, it can create a toxic culture of blame. Employees may begin to believe that this behavior is acceptable, leading to a widespread culture of blaming.

  • A culture of competition: Some leaders like to have highly competitive work environments. This can lead to employees feeling the pressure to perform and succeed. If they fail to do so, they might look for someone else to blame for their failure.

  • A lack of perusal responsibility: In a limited number of cases, there are individuals who simply refuse to take personal responsibility for their need to improve. They believe this to be a sign of weakness. This weakness results in them focusing on others because it eliminates their need to self-reflect.

  • Each and every one of the 5 contributing factors associated with having a blame game culture, can be overcome quickly with the right leadership and the implementation of code of conduct standards.

Cancer prevention

In order to prevent or eliminate having to deal with a blame game culture cancer, business leaders should adopt a code of conduct standards that accomplishes the following four goals:

  • Builds a culture that has a zero tolerance for blaming people.

  • That organizational adoption of a zero tolerance for waste. Waste is defined as anything that adds no value from an internal or external client’s perspective.

  • Nurtures a system-first focus for eliminating waste.

  • Creates an environment where accepting personal responsibility for improving performance is a badge of honor and a means for ensuring career growth and success.

Take action now

Reading this article wasn’t necessary to determine if you are currently hosting a blame game cancer. If you are suffering from the effects of this rampant business cancer, don’t wait to take action, do it now. Every business stakeholder will thank you for it and your business will be rewarded with improved performance in every area of your business.

Connect with us to discover how our Intersection of Business and Career Success program can help you improve employee and business performance.
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