Blame Storming

A discussion - usually amongst adjacent peer-group levels, in which members attempt to assign blame for a particular botch. The IdealOutcome is that the blame is spread thinly enough that not too much sticks to any one individual, and in particular, to no-one in the current group.

odd. I have always thought the purpose of BlameStorming is to get all the blame to stick to one person/group, ideally one not in the meeting (Actually, no: attributing blame to one individual is risky -- it's a lot better to introduce a degree of uncertainty by attributing blame thinly)

Perhaps you've worked in an atmosphere of unusually high levels of GoalCongruency?...

For BlameStorming at its funniest, finest, and most pathetic, try watching the "reality" show The Apprentice. (Not that it's any good; but it is amusing). For those who haven't seen it, it's Survivor transplanted into the business world; with a bunch of players (usually Type-A, obsessive-compulsive, alpha-(fe)male MBA types) competing to become the "apprentice" to Donald Trump (who, not coincidentally, is the star of the show). Similar to Survivor, the players are divided into two teams, who compete against each other in some business-related contest (such as who can sell more cases of bottled water with Trump's smiling face and god-awful haircut on the label). The winning team is awarded some perk from The Donald. The losing team is sentenced to meet Donald in the boardroom, where one player is selected to be "fired".

Unlike Survivor, where termination is decided purely by democracy (the players on the team vote, a plurality is sufficient to win, and one player is given immunity by virtue of winning a separate contest), in The Apprentice Donald (with help of two lackeys) picks out who gets sacked--but not before a rather amusing BlameStorming session where the various team members argue among themselves (in front of Trump) who screwed up the worst. Donald does a few nasty things, like occasionally delegating the termination power to one of the players, but ultimately one player does get fired at the end.

The show then ends with Trump engaging in self-righteous pontification about how things ought to be done in the business world; which is amusing when one considers how many failed business ventures he's been associated with. The real message of the show is that the most crucial business skill is self-promotion.

I read somewhere that Donald Trump's investment choices haven't beat the market average. Meaning, that they're random, or at least equivalent to random.

Hmm. Maybe DonaldTrump? isn't really human, but a smooth-talking, market-moving android designed and built by some uber-geek somewhere. Would go a long way to explaining why someone with billions of dollars of net worth has such a dreadful haircut.

CategoryAntiPattern CategoryManagementAntiPattern

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