There is another dimension to our lack of reporting – that revolves around how your organization responds to problems.

The Pineapple Problem

Many organizations tend to “shoot the messenger” when it comes to reporting problems.  Many organisation have Cost Review and similar meetings that get termed Pineapple Meetings – due to the feeling that the purpose is to publicly discipline team members who haven’t hit their targets.  An incident in your work area is definitely a part of not hitting a target!

A key factor is how Decision Makers / Leaders react to non conformances – what they do rather than what is written or said.

What is the response to someone reporting a problem?
What is the response to someone reporting a problem?

How does your Organization handle these issues:

  • What is the tone of your monitoring meetings (e.g. budget / performance review)? Do they focus on reinforcing what has been done well or do they criticize variances exclusively?  Does it feel like a pineapple session to those present?
  • Do most of the line and secondary supervisors adopt a Sergent Shultz defense when problems arise?
  • Is there a culture of “blame storming” around any problem or incident?  Does this come from a history of people being punished whenever they mention a problem or something goes wrong?

It’s a hard thing to look at or admit to – but often the leaders in an organisation need to “Look in the Mirror” to see if problems around under-reporting are being made better or worse by their actions.  Achieving that goal of not accepting poor performance AND solving issues which lead to poor performance is ideal – and involves application of good management practices.

For the next post in this series – click here.


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