Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Fundamental #5: Practice Blameless Problem-Solving
Fundamental #5: PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING. Just fix it. Apply your creativity and enthusiasm to developing solutions, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Learn from every experience.
I feel great when members of our staff mention insights or skills they’ve gained that work that help them outside work, in the rest of their life.
Well, if your family is anything like mine, this week’s fundamental can improve life at home as well as in the office.
When things don’t go as we expect or desire, the easiest thing is to figure out who’s to blame. But blaming creates conflict and destroys trust. And it steals energy from actually solving the problem. When we are blaming, we aren’t learning all the lessons the situation offers.
When Avi started here, he was (and is) very impressed with our team culture, especially our dedication, creativity, and sense of community. But he also noticed that there is a fear of failing that inhibits experimentation. This is common in organizations. However, the startup world has taught us that long-term success in complex and changing environments (like ours) requires experimenting. And some experiments fail. An organization’s strength is determined not by whether if fails but by how much it learns from its failures.
Blame-free investigation often reveals that a failure is caused less by any single person’s mistake and more from unclear roles and expectations.
If we can brainstorm with some colleagues about what we can learn from a failure, we will discover new approaches and new opportunities.
We can make the Federation’s strong culture stronger if we increase our tolerance for occasional failures that can lead to learning and growth. I’d love to hear from you about how we can encourage more supportive risk tolerance.