December 16th, 2014
Episode 103 of 836 episodes
In the past ten years, there have been a string of organizational failures, 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. It was a term that came up in the Enron scandal. Wilful blindness is a legal term, it states that if there is knowledge you could have had and should have had, you are still responsible. 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.