The focus should be on why the problem occurred in the first place, then on coming up with a plan to correct the failure and assuring it does not recur. Firing should only occur if the person needed to carry out the plan is unable to do so, but often the person fired is also the one best suited to fix the problem they just weren't given adequate resources or support. This is particularly true of CEO firings, the problem lies with an inexperienced board or an entitled executive team that doesn't follow orders, and the CEO can't get rid of them, which is why you have successive failures in the first place.
Put another way, if you have three CEOs who failed maybe the problem is not the CEO. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome? Blame takes the focus off fixing the problem and puts it on replacing the person, but if the person is only a part of the problem and all other factors do not get addressed the failure won't be mitigated.
Institutionalized Stupidity Must End
The above are five of my favorite bone-headed moves, but I'm sure you can think of many more. Here is something to leave you with in the meantime. How often do the executives of your firm get together to identify institutionalized decisions that turn out badly and collectively pull them out of the play book? It might not be a bad idea to make doing this a regular occurrence because institutionalized stupidity is uncomfortably close to corporate insanity and corporate insanity never ends well.
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