One of the most important challenges is to find the best balance between “blaming culture” and the one “it works anyway”. If you focus on finding the guilty persons it will lead to making people close themselves, if you are too relaxed it could lead to carelessness.
A manager who takes his time to understand the information and to look for different perspectives has an important advantage. She/he will both understand what has happened in each of the cases and also sends a trusting message to his team: if you make a mistake unintentionally, you will not be sanctioned.
The real question is neither “Who is to be blamed”, nor “Where is the dividing line between justified blaming and unintentional mistake?”, but “Do people in your organization really trust the ones in charge to set this line?
People will be open and engaged only when they trust the ones judging them.
Blaming without having done a detailed analysis is one of the most dangerous things in a company; it is based on a wrong assumption that being firm and being open are in conflict.
The fault undermines essential information for adaptation, letting us believe that we understand the environment, when in fact we should learn from it.
“An organizational culture that really allows accepting and reporting mistakes securely can live together with, or even create, high performance standards” – Matthew Syed “Black Box Thinking”