Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WHO’S TO BLAME?

One of the things that I have enjoyed about helping to manage our business for 29 years is that there has never been any blame cast for bad decisions.  Even though all major decisions are voted on and therefore are approved by a majority of the owners; the truth is that most ideas originate with only one of us and therefore blame could be directed to someone if the idea does not work out.  But blame has never been part of our business culture.  I can vouch from personal experience for the advice that you should never engage in blaming one of your business associates for a decision gone bad.  Once the decisions are made, see yourselves as all equally responsible for the success or failure of that decision.  Learn from your mistakes, but do not blame anyone for them.

Blame has at least two very bad consequences.  The first is bitterness.  Both the person who thought up the idea and the ones who went along with it will be bitter if blame is cast.  The person who thought up the idea will be bitter at being blamed, and the other people will be bitter that their time or money has been wasted.  The second bad consequence is the tendency to stop initiating new ideas if there is a risk that you will be blamed if the idea does not work out.  Either way, the company loses. 

The best plan is to resolve to be equally responsible for all decisions, good or bad, no matter who originally came up with the idea.  That way no one will become bitter and the ideas for new decisions will keep coming.

Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)

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