It’s not my fault! Sound familiar? Probably, but it’s bad crisis management.

An article in today’s New York Times titled “Where the Fingers Are Pointing” opens with this line:

“When money managers make good investments, they are happy to take credit for brilliance. When they make bad investments, they would rather the blame go elsewhere.”

You could pretty much substitute “money managers” with any other title and it would still be an accurate statement, especially when it comes to crisis management.

In crisis situations, lashing out and casting blame in other directions is a common, but ineffective strategy for protecting and salvaging corporate reputation. When the fires are burning, people expect someone to take responsibility for solutions. The truth almost always comes to light, so blame eventually is laid at the feet of the true offenders. Companies that are in the wrong that choose to deflect and strike often find themselves in much hotter water than they would have if they had owned up to the issue and made amends.