Once upon a time, I was a manager in a rather large organization. From time to time, things would go wrong, but somehow, it seemed impolite to suggest that someone or some department was responsible for what had happened.
“Blame is not a useful management concept,” I used to say. I was trying to be facetious, but it surprised me how often people believed me.
The thought came back to me in recent weeks as I’ve watched the saga of the financial meltdown on the tube. Although, informally, the editorial pages and the Presidential candidates have blamed greedy community activists and greedy Wall Streeters, there has been no official effort, as far as I can tell, to assess who or what was responsible for the financial crisis.
And after a week of downward lurches, the stock market shot up over 900 points today. So I guess everything’s rosy again, and we can go back to being fat, dumb, and happy.
And we still won’t properly understand how we got into this mess.
And we still won’t properly understand how to avoid it in the future.