As we began running our IT group using XOIT we began experiencing how it works, in both the good times and the bad. Of course you can’t have the good times without the bad, and we are no exception. Whether it is a project that was pushed to production with too many defects, or a stable environment that became unstable, or a security patch that disrupted the business, these are all examples of human error that while done with good intentions, caused harm.
In an environment such as ours, where we are pushing people to be autonomous and are granting them the authority to reach their groups’ and roles’ purpose handling these types of scenarios can be tricky. Yes, we hold roles and groups accountable for their actions, but at the same time there is a fine line between holding people accountable and generating fear to take action.
You need to make sure that people will understand the results and impact of their decisions and actions from an accountability perspective, not punish them or imply that they have done BAD work. Sure it is more difficult, but finding how to make people understand that not only have they made a mistake, but that they should make sure it doesn’t happen again is priceless. By doing so you maintain your long-term strategy by not negatively impacting the team’s authority and autonomy.
In order to be able to support people’s self-reflection of their own mistakes my advice is to:
1. Make sure that there are no immediate HR implication (policy violations, for example)
2. Allow time for self-reflection
3. Involve group members with the reflection process
4. If the associate didn’t reflect and/or understand the consequences of his or her action, start the process to let them know that they are not performing as expected.