Gathering Evidence

While working on a previous project, before I had a blog, I remember an incident with a particular boss at a company which thrived on a blame culture. No one cared if software was late or crap. All they cared about was whether another department was to blame.

So once we screwed up on a project and his response was "Can’t you find an email showing its the customers fault?". In this case, the answer was "No, it was our fault. I screwed up and misread the requirements." Being a good boss, he didn’t want to shit on me. "OK, but surely you can find an email that shows its the customers fault? Thats all I need to copy to his boss." He didn’t care about the impact on the business. Didn’t want me working over time to fix the problem. Didn’t want me to accept responsibility for the problem. He just wanted to blame some other department for the problem. And this was the way he worked project after project. Find evidence. Copy the head of the other department. Threaten to escalate…

He wasn’t alone either. Every department worked in the same way. No one had accountability. It lead to people being scared to make mistakes. Perhaps that was why the company was a market leader? But it wasn’t a very nice place to work.