Is it the instrument or the implementation?

First, I must apologize.  The other day I activated a post WELL before it’s time, in fact it was just an idea.  You may have seen a blog post from me that only said this:

Don’t blame the instrument when your implementation failed.

While I didn’t know it at the time, this flub actually proved the point of my message. Let me set the scene…

It’s about 5 am on Saturday.  I am at Beagle’s Bed and Breakfast in Pennsylvania, and it’s the day after some fun sessions with the staff and owners of Knoebel’s Amusement Resort. Even though I am tired, I am awake before my alarm.  I decided to check email, etc. on my phone, so I plopped down on a super comfy chair out in the common room of the B’n’B.  It was at that moment that the idea for the blog post hit me.

I launched the WordPress app on my phone and began typing out the idea.  When I went to save the draft, I published it instead. Oops.

Of course this triggers a number of actions, some that I cannot stop.  A Facebook post, a Tweet, and a ping email are all set in motion with only one sentence of content.  Double oops.

So why did this happen?  I can’t blame my phone or the app, they only did what I told them to do.  I can only point the finger back to a blurry-eyed operator who hit the wrong button.  That would be me.

Taking a step back, the REAL reason this topic came up was because I was talking to someone recently about performance evaluations, and how this person felt sometimes they could do more harm than good.  This led me to think, is it the evaluation itself, or the way we administer it that caused the failure?

There are so many examples of this… we launch a new initiative on any topic (service, productivity, cleanliness, etc.) and find that 6 weeks down the road it’s not working, so we change the initiative.  But was that really the problem, or was it that we didn’t support and follow through well enough to make the initiative work?

If you have ever referred to some new program as a “flavor of the month”, then you know exactly what I am taking about.

Taking this a step further, could there also be a conclusion drawn about the success of our front line leaders and employees?  If they fail or under perform, is it them, or is it because we didn’t prepare, guide and lead them well enough?  I’ll let that one simmer for a bit.

So while no one likes to take blame, we do have to realize when it’s us and our implementation, and not the instrument that is at fault.

Thanks for reading!


Related post: Take The Blame, It’s Okay

About the author: Speaking of placing blame where it doesn’t belong, Matt has uncovered the REAL reasons that employees lose motivation throughout the season. Here’s a hint, it ain’t the heat and long hours.  Check out The Myth of Employee Burnout book and live program for more details!

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