Practice Blameless Problem Solving | Fundamental #18

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” Robert Anthony

A basic tenet of our coaching practice at Momentum Consulting is accountability, an essential component of executive leadership training, both with individuals and teams.

Those of you familiar with us have surely heard one of us say “…there’s no blame in accountability, and no accountability in blame”.

So, how does this relate to your power?

Successfully finding the culprit – the individual(s) whose error cost you and/or your organization time, money, credibility or other valuable resources – will accomplish exactly that: you’ve found the culprit. Now what?

The fundamental problem at the root of the error has not been addressed; the chances of the same mistake recurring is high. Most importantly, you have ceded your power to make changes, thereby the opportunity to improve your team’s performance.

The problem may have had any number of causes, e.g. miscommunication, lack of knowledge, time or budget pressure, etc.

The time you and your team take to collaboratively investigate and clear up the root cause of the mistake is time well-spent and will likely save you considerable time should you not do so, and the problem recurs.

Establishing a collaborative problem-solving, rather than guilt-finding, culture will engage and empower your team, providing a fertile ground for high performance.

Ah, and what if the culprit is YOU?

Holding yourself accountable for your part in an issue puts power directly in your hands. The power to improve. The power to change. The power to learn.

Which reminds me of my favorite quote from Robert Anthony:

“Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.”

Drink heartily, my friends!


Fundamental #18 | Practice Blameless Problem Solving

Focus on finding a solution, not who is at fault. Apply your creativity, spirit and enthusiasm to the development of solutions. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve processes, so we learn from every experience.


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