The Post Office recently received a £58 million bill in damages after a court found that it had wrongly accused 550 sub-postmasters of theft, fraud and false accounting. As it transpired, the underlying problem was not the deceit and venality of the postmasters but a defective new IT system.
The real scandal is that, repeatedly over an unbelievable 19 years, the Post Office refused to see that its own system was at fault and instead blamed the hapless postmasters for all the inaccuracies and anomalies in the system.
This case is important as it is a classic example of beliefs (and this includes assumptions and self-beliefs) being a huge obstacle to successful problem solving, improvement planning and decision-making.
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