After a problem, the ABM Period
Often after a problem occurs in the business world, the first order of business is assigning blame for the problem. Shortsighted management looks immediately for a scapegoat on which to blame the problem.
Everyone reacts with the ABM Period. The ABM Period is the time period where everyone is concentrating on shifting the blame to Anyone But Me, hence the name ABM Period.
Unfortunately this period can often last days, if not weeks. Some people spend more time trying to place or avoid blame than they do trying to devise a way to avoid the problem next time. This leads to a fractured work environment and poor morale; in addition to delaying the solving of the problem. In some cases, the placing of blame seems to take precedence over the functioning of the business.
It probably began as an employee's defense mechanism against unreasonable management, but it has grown to become a pervasive ill in society. What is the victim syndrome, where everyone is a victim of some perceived injustice, but the placing of the blame for a person's problems on someone or something else.
If a person is found who says, "I could have done this, to avoid that, and next time I will."; hire that person immediately. Anyone who is attempting anything new will make mistakes, the key is to learn from those mistakes and improve the process. If a person is not capable of doing a job, it becomes evident and the position must be filled by someone else. No amount of blame placing will hide this fact.
This is one of the main reasons I am not part of Corporate America. If a mistake is made at StormCentral.com, I made it, I will acknowledge it, and I will improve from it. I make mistakes quite often. It is part and parcel of the software development process.
Copyright © 2001 Jeffrey B. Goodman. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 20, 2005 .