• Do 'Blame Game Politics' rule your workplace?
  • Are you frustrated of retrospective meetings that result in zero outcomes due to endless debates on who is to take the blame?  
  • Does the "Blame" monster haunt you every time you try to do something new?  
  • Are you afraid of taking risks for the fear of being labelled the 'wrong' one?  
  • And, above all, do you wish to tackle the blame game monster? 

If yes, then this session is for you.  This session introduces a toolkit to free oneself and others from the biases, based on research studies in the field of Social Psychology.  The toolkit provides one an 'objective' view of the situation at hand to decide on further actions rather than debating on who is wrong.

This session introduces common biases like 'Confirmation Bias' and the 'Fundamental Attribution Error', which every human being falls prey to.  The attendees will also be performing a guided team activity that helps them practice the Covariation Model to zero-in to the real root cause of any problem.



Outline/Structure of the Talk

  • Introduction - 3 min
  • What is Blame Game? - 3 min
  • Effect of Blame on Happiness - 5 min
  • The Blamer's Perspective - 5 min
  • Activity - Confirmation Bias  - 5 min
  • Illustration - Fundamental Attribution Error - 4 min
  • If everyone is biased, are we all doomed? - 1 min
  • Covariation Model - The Objectivity Tool - 2 min
  • Covariation Model - A Group Activity - 10 min
  • How to influence coworkers? - 2 min
  • Summary + Q & A - 5 min

Learning Outcome

The participants will leave the session with 

  • An understanding of how blame affects workplace happiness
  • A realization that everyone has inbuilt biases, including themselves
  • A hands-on practical experience of applying covariation model to find root cause of a problem, without taking blame
  • How to influence co-workers to avoid blame resulting in happy working patterns

Target Audience

Any Professional

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Anand Murthy Raj
    By Anand Murthy Raj  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Vivek,

    Thanks for the proposal. Looks a very interesting and a different topic. A few questions for clarity

    1) DO you think we can have an activity showing some substantial results in 10 mins ?

    2) Have you applied the Covariation Model in real time and can you share some results/improvements you have seen  (a kind of mini case study) to relate?




    • Vivek Ganesan
      By Vivek Ganesan  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Anand,

      Thanks for your inputs.  Please find my answers inline below.

      1) Do you think we can have an activity showing some substantial results in 10 mins ?

      A: The activity that I have in mind is this:

      1. Give a printed comic strip, narrating a story about a common situation, to each team
      2. Ask them to fill in a co-variation template, in consultation with the comic strip (The comic strip will answer all questions needed to fill in covariation template)
      3. Find out the 'real' root cause

       But I agree that it could become a time crunch.  I personally would like to have 15-20 minutes for this activity.  Then I should cut short on the other activity on Confirmation bias. 

      Do you think it would be good if I extend the time length to 90 minutes so that we could do more rounds of confirmation bias activity and covariation model?  May be if there is more time, I could give 2-3 different situations and ask the teams to narrate what they learnt from each activity.

      2) Have you applied the Covariation Model in real time and can you share some results/improvements you have seen  (a kind of mini case study) to relate?

      A: Actually, I stumbled upon the covariation model when I was stuck in a situation of why people were not fixing red builds.  The team activity in the proposal will create a fictionalized version of the same situation.  Or, if you think there is a merit in allocating time for sharing the results, I could do that too.

      Please let me know on what you think.

      PS: While answering this question, I found out that I had a wrong link on the article "Taming the Blame Game Dragon" in publications section.  Corrected it! Thanks, Anand for being a trigger for doing that :)

      • Prasad
        By Prasad  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        thanks for further inputs.. some how most of our community guys are becoming 'Philosophers'. I suggest you to design and play few games that conveys your message than a death by ppt

        • Vivek Ganesan
          By Vivek Ganesan  ~  2 years ago
          reply Reply

          Thanks for your inputs, Prasad! This session covers an activity where people can do some fact-finding by using comic strips as their guides.  Will this suffice or do you think it will be good to have more?

  • Liked Vivek Ganesan

    Vivek Ganesan - Blameless CI - Bashing Cultural Monsters in Continuous Integration

    Vivek Ganesan
    Vivek Ganesan
    Agile / Devops Coach
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins

    Does your organization frown upon “Build Breakers”? Does your team spend a lot of time fixing integration issues in CI? Do you see a lot of “Who broke the build now?” emails? Do your team members hesitate to commit their code for the fear of causing a build failure?

    If you wish to know what you can do to make the situation better, this session is for you.

    Continuous Integration is a powerful way to identify and eliminate certain risks, particularly when multiple teams are rallying towards a planned release. Even if you are not working on a planned release, Continuous Integration will help you to cut-out a release sooner than you would if you did not have CI.

    When organizations or teams start adopting Continuous Integration for the first time, they develop an untold habit to chastise the build breaker, whenever a build breaks. Most of the time, the reprimanded build breaker is a person and not a thing, a machine or a process

  • Liked Vivek Ganesan

    Vivek Ganesan - Workplace Happiness - Does Agility Keep us Happy?

    Vivek Ganesan
    Vivek Ganesan
    Agile / Devops Coach
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    With the increase in population that separates ‘work’ from ‘life’, as if work is absence of life, it becomes increasingly important to study about what happiness means to people at work, so that they can be made to feel alive in their offices too. This session is aimed at introducing two interesting research studies that aimed to do just that. Also, this session helps people understand if agility keeps us happy in the true sense.

    The two studies that this session will discuss about are as follows:

    1. Richard M. Ryan et al’s Self Determination Theory – led to a book Drive by Dan Pink
    2. Mihaly’s Measurement of Flow in Everyday’s life – led to book Flow by Mihaly himself

    This session does not just explain these two research works but also will find the commonalities between these and will engage the audience with discussions using leading questions, thereby bringing out personal examples that they can relate to.