Overcoming the blame tendency is a defining issue in the corporate world. Ben Dattner, a psychologist and organisational consultant, tells of an experience when he was working at the Republic National Bank of New York. He noticed a piece of paper that a co-worker had stapled to his cubicle wall. It read:

‘The six phases of a project:
1. Enthusiasm
2. Disillusionment
3. Panic
4. Search for the guilty
5. Punishment of the innocent
6. Rewards for the uninvolved’

Dattner writes: ‘I have yet to come across a more accurate description of how most dramas play out in our working lives.’
Matthew Syed, Black Box Thinking: Why Some People Never Learn from Their Mistakes – But Some Do