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Very funny, Mr. Magoo

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« Doing the right thing--paying it forwardThe Wolves are at the Door--Prioritization to the Rescue! »

Very funny, Mr. Magoo

01/27/10

Permalink 03:07:44 pm, Categories: IT Leadership, Business Leadership

We've all seen it happen. A really good employee, one who you have trusted for a long time, does something that is....well....not so bright. A Mr. Magoo moment if you will. Unfortunately, the Mr. Magoo moment creates lots of headaches for the organization. Now what do you do?

First you have to clean up the situation. It may be an "all hands on deck" situation requiring the services of many people, or it may simply require one person to reverse an action. Regardless, this needs to happen in a coordinated way, but in a timeframe that is reasonable for those affected. Having good recovery measures in place ahead of time makes this much easier.

But once things are back to normal, how do you proceed? One of the first things to do is to look for the real (root) cause of the incident. Many people jump to the conclusion that it was the employee who caused the issue, but, more times than not, it turns out that a process was not clearly defined or a possible cause/effect relationship had not been considered. There are well defined processes for performing this type of analysis and they are beyond the scope of this posting.

But as leaders, the critical thing we need to remember is not to blame the person from the start and to help our teams understand that this is not something they should do either. Ultimately, we will end up with better, stronger teams and a culture where people are not afraid to admit their mistakes and to learn from them.

Coverups make the front page of the paper; immediate accountability usually does not. Keep this in mind the next time Mr. Magoo pays you a visit.


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