“Back to the Future: Seven Timeless Lessons for Organizational Success” by Dr. Chris Bart, FCA

LESSON 3. Blame Yourself

When problems arise, management and staff frequently provide a litany of reasons why setbacks are somebody else’s doing.  Managers blame subordinates, subordinates blame their bosses, everyone blames the competition and the government.  Sometimes they even blame the customer. Many organizations spend far too much time blaming others when they need to look at the problems they can actually control. I recommend that for every new challenge your company encounters, each staff member needs to think, “This is my fault, so what can I do about it?” Companies should look within for creative solutions rather than blaming outside forces for its troubles. One savvy organization I know uses the following technique to encourage a steady flow of ideas from which the best ones are culled to solve problems and make improvements. It simply pays its employees a “bounty” of $20 for “A-type” ideas and $5 for “B-type” ideas.  All ideas a paid for. Last year its 42 employees contributed 5,000 ideas for which they received $50,000 in bounties.  Although only 1,500 ideas were implemented, the firm estimates a return of nearly $7 million dollars! Any organization can implement this remarkably simple procedure in short order.


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