Finger pointing and excuses seem to make up part of most corporate culture. You often hear, it’s not me it was another person that failed to deliver. I waited for the other department to reply but they never did. In my consulting years here in the Philippines, I witness this behaviour from entry level employees to a number of high ranking executives.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover a simple approach to making people aware of their finger pointing behaviour. The approach was shared by the Managing Director of an ad agency. It is called ORA / BED.

The ORA / BED phrase has two parts. On the left side or on the top of the line we have ORA. ORA stands for Ownership, Responsible, Accountable. All positive traits of a successful leader, manager or employee.

At the bottom you have BED. This stands for Blaming, Excuses and Denial. They are all negative behaviours.

The way it is used is three parts. First, explain the meaning of ORA / BED. Second, have it posted on collaterals to serve as a reminder. Third, whenever discussions turn negative (BED), you just have to remind everyone to keep the discussion in ORA. Personally, I say ‘Hey guys let’s keep the discussion above the line. Let’s keep it in ORA.’ It helps people become conscious of their behaviour.

Since I started using this in the groups I manage and clients I mentor, the discussions I get are more positive and productive.

Try it. ORA / BED. It’s deceptively simple. It’s so simple that it works.