Just Culture

Margaret Heffernan explores why big organisations so often make big mistakes - and asks if the cure could be the aviation industry's model of a "just culture".

In the past ten years, there have been a string of organizational failures - from BP to the banks, from the Catholic Church to Rotherham. In each instance, hundreds, even thousands of people could see what was going on but acted as though they were blind. Silence ensured the problems continued and allowed them to grow.

The conditions that create the phenomenon called "wilful blindness" are pervasive across institutions, both public and private. Wherever there have been cases of organisational failure you typically find individuals who are over-stretched, distracted and exhausted. They cannot see because they cannot think.

Businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan argues that the solution is a "just culture"; which means organizations that encourage people to speak up early and often when things go adrift, without fear of being silenced.

Alexis Jay, author of the report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham
Ben Alcott, Head of Safety at the Civil Aviation Authority
Helene Donnelly, Cultural Ambassador, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Trust
Bill McAleer, a former safety auditor for General Motors
Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist behind the famous Stanford Prison experiment

Producer: Gemma Newby.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 9 Nov 2014 21:30

Related topics

You might also like...

David Aaronovitch presents The Briefing Room

David Aaronovitch digs deeps into the important issues in the news in The Briefing Room