Management Today spoke to MD Rachel Cook and other management experts about what we can learn from the serious allegations made against the CBI and some of its senior leaders around toxic cultures and sexual harassment.
It’s clear that a psychologically unsafe culture was allowed to prevail that prevented an open-door policy, and that made open discussion about failings an impossibility. It’s the hushing up of issues, minimising of feelings, lack of safety, and a blame culture -particularly for women and marginalised groups — that has led to this.
They and others in a similar situation must focus not on refuting claims in the press, but on looking at how this could happen or has happened. They need to build psychologically safe workplaces where colleagues feel safe and empowered to speak up. They need to ask hard questions, listen to the answers and act on them.