You Can’t Punish Your Way to Perfection

This article resonates with discussions that we’ve had OE/quality peer group that our efforts should be focused on identifying ways to improve our processes rather than blame our people. The phrase “hold people accountable” is used as a polite or passive-aggressive way to say “blame and punish people.” But, you can’t punish your way to perfection. He concludes that:

1. Punishing people for mistakes doesn’t reduce mistakes

2. Punishing people for mistakes is counterproductive

3. There’s no evidence that more punishment leads to more improvement

4. In fact, the opposite is true… organizations that react constructively to mistakes, focusing on learning instead of punishment, end up improving more

So, we think our approach to focus on process improvements rather than individual’s failures yields better results.

June 28, 2023