Julia Langkraehr’s Blog

What is no BCD – and why your business needs it.

No Blaming, No Complaining, No Defending
I am always constantly striving to learn and educate myself as an entrepreneur, so I applied and was accepted into the EO Entrepreneurial Masters Programme.

One of the speakers shared his story, and in his talk, I learned an acronym which really resonated with me.

Now I use this acronym with my clients which is around the mindset of taking personal responsibility.

The terminology I share with the teams I work with is no “BCD”.

What does BCD stand for?

No Blaming, No Complaining, No Defending.

This means that if there is a problem in your business, if something has gone wrong, no-one blames anyone else, no-one complains about it and no-one defends it.

We don’t want to spend or waste any time pointing fingers. Instead we want to concentrate our valuable time on taking responsibility immediately and drill down to the key issues and possible solutions, and align and decide as a team what the best course of action is to fix or solve them.

In a leadership team, when your seat has been clearly defined, you know your role, and you are accountable for what happens within your area of responsibility. Once this is clear, a leader acts as a role-model, and can then perpetuate a no BCD culture through their departments and at all levels of the organisation.

When something goes wrong, don’t blame, complain or defend. Instead, own it and start solving it as quickly as possible.

When you are able to do this as a leader, you will have a more accountable, resilient and pro-active team.

Read more: How important is healthy conflict in your business

It’s easy to see companies where team members try to shift blame away from themselves, finger point to other people and generally just complain about things which aren’t working in the business and never do anything about it. There are also team members and leaders who get defensive and do not want to take on any criticism or constructive feedback, isolating themselves and silo-ing their department from the organisation.

When you have organisations which allow finger pointing and dodging of responsibility, it breaks down unity and trust so issues linger and sometimes are never solved, and we find in some situations people or departments are working against each other.

A leadership team can choose what kind of culture and behaviours they want to encourage.

When leaders consciously breed a positive accountable culture, you get an open, honest company where people feel comfortable challenging and being challenged and aim to improve systems and processes on a continual basis. This is an amazing competitive advantage and asset for a business.

What are the benefits of “No BCD”?
  1. People don’t try to bury issues with excuses, they don’t accuse team members of being the cause of problems. It curtails gossip, as they don’t stand at the water-cooler complaining.
  2. In the healthy culture which gives team members the benefit of the doubt, and there is trust, and the team feels confident to bring their good ideas, feel free to discuss what might not be working, and they focus on how to do things better.
  3. When you have team members who take accountability, you have the “I own it, I’ll take care of it, it’s my responsibility” attitude.

Our client, Bernino Lind of Control Plane, said: “We decided to implement BCD as a sort of guiding principle. There’s no blame, there’s no complaint, there’s no justification, there’s no defensiveness and so on. There are only facts and opportunities for improvement – why is this not going to happen again? This is really powerful stuff.

“When that’s the operating model, it takes away the opportunity for politics and politics is all about blame games.”

“BCD focuses on what can be done. You cannot change the past. You cannot change that mistake. But what you can change is that it doesn’t happen again. So, you can grow with the experience and use it for growth, rather than finger pointing.”


As a leader, you can make a conscious decision about how you want your team and the entire organisation to react to issues and problems.

If you create a culture of trust where you know people will take accountability, you will be able to delegate important projects and responsibilities with confidence they will be done.

Read more: How to build a healthy culture in your business
Call me for a 15 minute chat about how I can help you build a positive culture in your business, on 07795 667480 or email on hello@boldclarity.com.