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« As you sow, so shall you reap. | Main | In the Book of Life, the Answers Are Not In the Back. »

October 25, 2018



One question though - An occasional genuine lapse or mistake - i totally understand.

But what if someone takes pleasure in sabotaging, takes it as a sport, or does it as a very casually practice - and most important.... doesn't have remorse of doing it?


In my first job, I've had my share of making mistakes at work and I have been fortunate to be in a department within the organization that focuses on the problem, not the person. This wasn't the case in one of the most recent organization that I have worked for.

It is seemingly easier to just put a blame on someone. It is an easy fix; the operator is the problem, so we get rid of the operator. Little did people actually realized that getting rid of the operator doesn't fix the problem, because that is not the actual root cause. But it's an easier quick fix.

And right up till the moment when I left, I doubt the root cause has been truly addressed. Just like what you said, that defines the culture of the organization and it will take a long while before a positive shift in the culture can be visibly seen.

Having said that, as humans, it's easier to forget the many things that a person has done right, especially if this person were to make a mistake. We sometimes have to remind ourselves to reflect on the mistakes that we have made over the years. After all, no one is perfect, right?

Thanks for this reflection. :)


Thanks Sujat. Good Question.
If it is sabotage then it is a conscious deliberate action.
In one of the structured problem solving approach, after collecting data, the analysis moves to information and knowledge stage.
Then overall system consisting of Man, Machine, Materials and Method and their interactions is analyzed for the root cause.
Your question is related to Man component.
When mistakes are pointing to Man, the second level analysis is done to identify if it was lack of skills, training, work environment, fatigue etc. in all these cases they are not conscious deliberate actions.

Though I donot recollect witnessing any sabotage action in my career, it does happen as a conscious action not a mistake the way I see it. Sabotage to me is equivalent to terrorism.

This is my take on it.

Thanks for your question.


Very true!


One more thing. If it is a bad attitude then try to talk to the person and may get a clue.
Is it because doesn’t like the job or some external factor influencing behavior or workplace conflicts. If can’t get motivated then
In such case a transfer or suggestion to move on is required.


Thanks for sharing this story Anand. I saw that you followed this forward as well in your life.


Thank You
As u said, sabotage then it is a conscious deliberate action. It is an extreme case. But a casual attitude of taking it lightly all the time brings in the other possibilities as u suggest. It probably points to a mismatch between man and nature of work.

Thank u once again for better clarity,


Thanks, Anand. Focus on the problem, not the person. Helpful reminder even outside of work. 🙂

Non Believer

Plain Utopia. Don’t believe any company in the business of making money can afford the time and resources for the luxurious problem solving process.


@ Non believer- O ye of little faith:) Problem solving process is not a luxury. It is a necessity. When done right, it will prevent recurrence. That gives us the opportunity to make new mistakes vs repeating the old. I have made several mistakes in personal and professional life. Am trying to not repeat them. And if I catch myself repeating the mistake, I am trying to change my reaction to them. Anand- I am curious. What triggered this one?


Those who don't solve problems are condemned to repeat them forever.


To Madhuri
Just like most articles, triggers for the choice of Friday Reflections subject are: current issues in society, some recent discussions with friends and events in our lives. Most of the time the subject is not firmed up until Wednesday evenings.

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