Have you got yourself some stinking thinking?

Guest blogger, Eldred Gilbert (mum to our Co-Founder Elizabeth) has 50 years of experience in nursing and leadership.

So many people have worked hard and fast to create new solutions and find ways to get our families, organisations and our nation through a pandemic that has brought the country to a near standstill.  For business, it has been about a metamorphosis – a hard and fast transformation to stay relevant and functioning in this new context. The thing with hard, fast and new is there will be imperfections, gaps and the odd muck-up. As people are tired after a hard sprint and an influx of change, it is easy for blame to start to creep in.

Enter Blame

We are at a point in our journey where blame can be expected and we might feel it rising in ourselves or we might experience it unfairly from others – we see this after every mass disruption event.

When blame comes to town, it permeates the culture of our teams and organisations. Blame is an ‘around in circles’ game! It does not have an end, gets faster and quickly becomes a vortex. Blame rapidly mutates into gossip, the “blame game” (where everyone is slinging it around) and other nasties as quickly as the pandemic virus itself.

This ‘stinking thinking’ helps no one.

Managing blame

Organisations need to be agile in their thinking in a time and environment of heightened emotion.  This is not easy to achieve. You need everything going for you.

Go hard and go early on blame. We can expect it, so plan for it. The number one thing we have to get us through right now is each other. Your people are your greatest asset. When the situation bites, don’t allow your people to bite each other.

Expect irritating mistakes – they happen at the best of times. Why would they not happen (and in fact accelerate) at the worst of times? Innovation in the face of rapid change requires trialling new things that may go wrong. Encourage the effort, don’t blame the result. Trial, modify, renew, try again... Your energy is better served here.

If you recognise blame in yourself, is it a reflection of you and what you’ve got going on? Or are you gathering ammunition to settle old scores? Give yourself a ‘talking to’ and ask yourself, is this the best use of my energy right now? Do you want to be someone who makes things better or worse?

Remember blame is easy. Being in the game doing your best is harder, but more worthwhile. This reminds us of a card from Hummingly’s Doing Well deck that we’d like to leave you with.


Doing Well Cards

A set of methods that supports wellbeing and resilience. Empowering people with the tools to deal with stress, uncertainty and pressure.