Unit 2: The importance of a safe organisational culture


2.8 Embedding a ’learning’ and not a ’blaming’ culture

An image with the words culture loading at its centre. Around this are the words nation, language, belief, society, behaviour, history, ethnicity, and tradition. There are also some drawings of pencils, biscuits, a cup of coffee, and a computer keyboard.

It’s imperative that organisations embed a culture of learning rather than blame. In other words, clarifying how organisational ways may cause harm, being respectful, factual, transparent and accountable.

It involves building a non-permissive environment, where wrongdoing is not tolerated, and living and breathing the mission and values of the organisation.

The elements of a learning culture are shown in the following diagram.

The five elements in the diagram are (1) openness, honesty and candour. (2) listen to those reporting. (3) transparent process to find the truth. (4) learn from errors and failures. (5) act professionally.

Following these elements to guide the learning process could prevent further harm from occurring and support new learning to be communicated across the organisation and with stakeholders.

The learning should also be included in organisational safeguarding policies and practices to demonstrate accountability to the donors, partners, and beneficiaries you work with, but should also be constantly evolving in response to new learning.