When things go well in organisations people rarely notice. After all leaders and managers are at the end of the day paid to deliver results.
Yet in truth we all know that even the best, most experience and most competent leaders and managers can perform below par from time to time. Something might even go badly wrong. While it is tempting and easy to look for scapegoats, in my experience this is rarely a good strategy for the following reasons.
If you make a point of looking for scapegoats you will discourage rather than encourage others to take balanced risks.
You might find it difficult or even impossible to recruit people to the more senior roles.
You create a culture across the whole of the organisation where passing the buck or blame becomes the norm.
Performance actually declines because people spend more time covering their backs than delivering results.
People start to become more and more competitive which gets in the way of collaboration and team working.
The business agenda becomes secondary to personal survival.
Innovation diminishes or dies. After all why would you stick your neck out if you get your head chopped off if it all goes wrong?
You risk losing ground against competitors.
People start to disengage or tell you what you want to hear rather than the reality of what is actually happening.
Motivation falls through the floor.
The Bottom Line: If you want to get the best from people you need to strike a balance between encouraging people to take balanced risk and holding people to account. If all you ever do is look for scapegoats you will set up the organisation to fail.
Duncan Brodie of Goals andAchievements helps organisations to achieve great results through people. You can learn more here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.