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jerryking : blaming_fingerpointing   14

Heed the human factor before judging leaders' achievements | Evernote Web
14 January/15 January 2017 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

Pointing out mistakes is a legitimate part of healthy journalism and civic debate. But as blaming and fingerpointing start to mount, it's worth remembering that people tend to freeze in a crisis, especially when there is a shortage of information. Hindsight is a wonderful thing for an econometric model or history book, but it downplays the human factor. There is a danger in criticizing others' decisions until you've walked in their shoes.
Gillian_Tett  human_factor  empathy  mistakes  human_errors  criticism  blaming_fingerpointing  hindsight  crisis  information_gaps  immobilize  paralyze  psychology  stress_response 
january 2017 by jerryking
The Dangers and Opportunities in a Crisis
October 7, 2012 | NYTimes.com | By HUGO DIXON, Hugo Dixon is the founder and editor of Reuters Breakingviews.

Wherever one turns — politics, business, medicine, ecology, psychology, virtually every field of human activity — people talk about crises. But what are they, how do they develop and what can people do to change their course?

The first thing to say is that a crisis is not just a bad situation. When the word is used that way, it is devalued. The etymology is from the ancient Greek: krisis, or judgment. The Greek Orthodox Church uses the term when it talks about the Final Judgment — when sinners go to hell, but the virtuous end up in heaven. The Chinese have a similar concept: The characters for crisis combine parts of those for danger and opportunity.

A crisis is a point when people have to make rapid choices under extreme pressure, normally after something unhealthy has been exposed in a system. To use two other Greek words, one path can lead to chaos; another to catharsis or purification.

A crisis is certainly a test of character. It can be scary. Think of wars; environmental collapses that destroy civilizations of the sort charted in Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”; mass unemployment; or individual depression that leads to suicide.

But the outcome can also be beneficial. This applies whether one is managing the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the current euro crisis, the destruction of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico or an individual’s midlife crisis. Much depends on how the protagonists act.

Students of crises are fond of dividing them into phases. For example, Charles Kindleberger’s “Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises” identifies five phases of a financial crisis: an exogenous, normally positive, shock to the system; a bubble in which people exaggerate the benefits of that shock; distress when some investors realize that the game cannot last; the crash; and finally a depression.

Although there is much to commend in Mr. Kindleberger’s system, it is too rigid to account for all crises in all fields. It also downplays the possibility that decision makers can change the course of a crisis. A more flexible scheme that leaves space for human agency to affect how events turn out has just two phases: the bubble and the crash......The bubble is typically characterized by mania and denial. Things are going well — or, at least, appear to be. Feedback loops end up magnifying confidence...............Manic individuals do not know their limitations and end up taking excessive risks — whether on a personal level or in managing an organization or an entire economy. As the ancient Greeks said, hubris comes before nemesis........But before that, there is denial. People do not wish to recognize that there is a fundamental sickness in a system, especially when they are doing so well........The ethical imperative in this phase is to *burst the bubble before it gets too big*. That, in turn, means both being able to spot a bubble and having the courage to stop the party before it gets out of hand [JCK: courage = "political will"] . Neither is easy. It is hard to recognize a sickness, given that there is usually some ideology that explains away the mania as a new normal. The few naysayers can be ridiculed by those who benefit from the continuation of the status quo.

What is more, politicians, business leaders and investors rarely have long-term horizons. So even if they have an inkling that things are not sustainable, they may still have an incentive to prolong the bubble.......The crash, by contrast, is characterized by panic and scapegoating. People fear that the system could collapse. Negative feedback loops are in operation: The loss of confidence breeds further losses in confidence. This is apparent on an individual level as much as on a macro one.

..Events move extremely fast, and decisions have to be made rapidly........The key challenge is to make effective decisions that avoid vicious spirals while not embracing short-term fixes that fail to address the fundamental issues. With the euro crisis, for example, it is important to improve competitiveness with structural reforms and not just rely on liquidity injections from the European Central Bank.[JCK: "structural change"]

In this phase, no one denies that there is a problem. But there is often no agreement over what has gone wrong. Protagonists are reluctant to accept their share of the responsibility but instead seek to blame others. Such scapegoating, though, prevents people from reforming a system fundamentally so that similar crises do not recur.[JCK: "systemic change"].....Crises will always be a feature of life. The best that humanity can do is to make sure it does not repeat the same ones. And the main way to evolve — both during a bubble and after a crash — is to strive to be honest about what is sick in a system. That way, crises will not go to waste.
blaming_fingerpointing  books  bubbles  catharsis  chaos  character_tests  clarity  crisis  dangers  decision_making  denials  economic_downturn  feedback_loops  Hugo_Dixon  individual_agency  Jared_Diamond  manias  market_crash  new_normal  opportunities  overconfidence  political_will  risks  scapegoating  short-sightedness  societal_choices  speed  structural_change  systemic_change  systemic_risks 
february 2015 by jerryking
Don’t Blame Autism for Newtown - NYTimes.com
By PRISCILLA GILMAN
Published: December 17, 2012

Asperger’s and autism are not forms of mental illness; they are neurodevelopmental disorders or disabilities. Autism is a lifelong condition that manifests before the age of 3; most mental illnesses do not appear until the teen or young adult years. Medications rarely work to curb the symptoms of autism, but they can be indispensable in treating mental illness like obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Underlying much of this misreporting is the pernicious and outdated stereotype that people with autism lack empathy. Children with autism may have trouble understanding the motivations and nonverbal cues of others, be socially naïve and have difficulty expressing their emotions in words, but they are typically more truthful and less manipulative than neurotypical children and are often people of great integrity. They can also have a strong desire to connect with others and they can be intensely empathetic — they just attempt those connections and express that empathy in unconventional ways.... This country needs to develop a better understanding of the complexities of various conditions and respect for the profound individuality of its children. We need to emphasize that being introverted doesn’t mean one has a developmental disorder, that a developmental disorder is not the same thing as a mental illness, and that most mental illnesses do not increase a person’s tendency toward outward-directed violence.

We should encourage greater compassion for all parents facing an extreme challenge, whether they have children with autism or mental illness or have lost their children to acts of horrific violence (and that includes the parents of killers).
autism  mass_shootings  blaming_fingerpointing  empathy 
december 2012 by jerryking
Peter C. B Bynoe Addresses Conference
April 1992 | HBS Bulletin | by Jeffrey Lazar.

* The concept of independence and self-determination is basically a myth for entrepreneurs. We all work for somebody--shareholders, customers, advertisers. Although we try to maximize out destiny , int eh final analysis, the marketplace dictates whether we succeed or fail
* Commit yourself to excellence and not to money.
* Be innovative, take chances and stay honest to oneself and others.
* Know when you need help and whom to ask for it, and get out when you realize that the market is turning against you. Never be too proud to fold your cards.
* Take responsibility for one's actions. Your bank account at the end of the year is the determining factor. No finger-pointing!
* Don't take "no" for an answer!
* Judge people by the content of their character not skin colour.
* Have fun. Enjoy the work that you do.
African-Americans  entrepreneur  HBS  alumni  exits  false_pride  blaming_fingerpointing  entrepreneurship  NBA  basketball  J.D.-M.B.A.  rules_of_the_game 
august 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 |Brian P.H. Green.

First, no neighbourhood in Toronto is a ghetto. Lodz was a ghetto. Warsaw was a ghetto. Jane/Finch or Malvern certainly are not ghettos. A ghetto has a way in, but no way out. The casual over-use of this word exaggerates the hopelessness of some of Toronto's communities. And it debases the memory of people who were truly persecuted.

Second, if you can't get a "decent job" -- in Toronto, no less -- when the economy is operating at "full capacity," then maybe there's an argument for taking personal responsibility, instead of blaming society or institutionalized racism.
African_Canadians  Toronto  fatherhood  ProQuest  personal_responsibility  ghettos  racism  hopelessness  neighbourhoods  blaming_fingerpointing  letters_to_the_editor 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Perils of Blame in the Workplace - NYTimes.com
By EILENE ZIMMERMAN
March 12, 2011

The last thing you want is a reputation for throwing co-workers under
the bus. It’s far more politically savvy and productive to approach the
mistake as a team problem. “Recommend a post-mortem analysis of what
happened, where you look at the chain of events, what occurred and what
didn’t, and questions get answered in a good-faith process,” says Ben
Dattner, a management consultant and author of “The Blame Game: How the
Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure.”
co-workers  morale_management  workplaces  post-mortems  Communicating_&_Connecting  teams  gratitude  blaming_fingerpointing  accountability 
march 2011 by jerryking
Behind all successes are a series of failures
Mar 31, 2010 | Financial Times. pg. 18 | Luke Johnson. while
improvement is essential, it pays to keep blame in proportion. Chance
plays a huge role in life, so do not torture yourself unnecessarily in
the wake of a mistake. And by the same token, try to avoid making so
many excuses that you sound as if you're in denial. Honestly analyse the
reasons why things did not go your way, and then move on.
ProQuest  Luke_Johnson  resilience  bouncing_back  failure  setbacks  sense_of_proportion  luck  chance  contingency  self-analysis  blaming_fingerpointing 
april 2010 by jerryking
You're a Success, Now Get Down to Work - WSJ.com
AUGUST 20, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by ALEXANDRA LEVIT.
Examining where you might have shortcomings can make or break a career.
Becoming as successful as you can be -- after you've already climbed
part of the ladder -- means you need two things. For starters, you need
outstanding people skills: Listen carefully, think before you speak,
reciprocate favors and manage conflicts diplomatically. Second, you
must regularly take a hard look at yourself and address your weak
points. For example, if you have a communication issue with one person
or a group of people, step away from the blame game and ask yourself,
"How can I be better?" Make sure people are honest with you by
requesting feedback anonymously and confidentially.

Remember: "Strong leaders don't coast."
Achilles’_heel  Alexandra_Levit  blaming_fingerpointing  emotional_intelligence  EQ  high-achieving  life_skills  Managing_Your_Career  movingonup  overachievers  people_skills  self-analysis  self-awareness  self-improvement  self-reflective  shortcomings  success  up-and-comers  weaknesses 
august 2009 by jerryking
Principles matter - negotiation strategies for entrepreneurs
July 4, 2003 | First published in the Globe and Mail | By BRIAN
BABCOCK Responding to a bully tactic on pricing. Prepare your brief,
then review your brief, and prepare it again. Have I prepared, revised,
and prepared again? Do I know all I can know about my market and my
competitors? Do I have a plan for negotiations? Have I judiciously
communicated my interests to the other people at the table? Do I
understand their interests? Do I know what I'll do if negotiations
fail? What's my best alternative to agreement? How can I change the
paradigm? Is my interest to expand the possibility of mutual gains? Am I
positional bargaining or interest-based negotiating? Do I remain
principled in the face of brinksmanship? Have I separated my emotions
from the bargaining process? Can I identify when my energy is wasted on
emotional "nonsense" and blame? Will the agreement create lasting
relationships of respect and trust? If not, how do I create those
critical and strategic positions?
asymmetrical  bargaining  BATNA  blaming_fingerpointing  Brian_Babcock  brinksmanship  bullying  emotional_mastery  emotions  mentoring  negotiations  preparation  pricing  respect  trustworthiness 
march 2009 by jerryking

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