No Blame Requires No Excuses

This little gem is buried on page 54 of John Shook’s new book Managing to Learn, recently published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.

Although it is almost just a passing thought in the overall context, it really gets to the core of a people-supporting culture.

To me, the concept of “No blame requires no excuses” means that the organization has created a culture where excuses are not necessary.

Think about this: What is the purpose of an excuse but an attempt to shift blame from a person to something that person could not control.

So what would it take to remove the need to do this?

First of all, it requires an organizational culture where it is safe to accept responsibility. At that point, excuses are no longer required for survival. Then, and only then, can the team start to deal with the facts as they truly are, rather first working to spin them in a way that is acceptable.

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