Opinion: The Internal Just Culture
Does our inherent critical voice contribute to fearing our mistakes? And if so, what can we do as a team to encourage the reporting of incidents to enhance safety?
A little while ago I came across an interesting social media post. It detailed a flight occurrence report, and surprisingly was met with some punitive comments about the individuals involved. This interested me because our industry is regarded as a poster child for ‘just culture’ with open and honest reporting all incidents. It also catalysed a deep dive for me to reveal the vast complexity within a system that can lead to negative outcomes. I’d like to look at the contribution each of us make to our organisation’s culture. Is blaming ever going to be helpful when we’re all doing the best we can?
One definition of culture is the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes members of one group from another. If this has a bias towards perfection where errors are solely attributed to an individual rather than the system, this can give rise to blame – the building blocks of a punitive culture. The result is fear of being judged, which could lead to a reduced reporting culture. The opportunity for the organisation to become continually safer through marginal gains is lost in this scenario, right?
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