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COMPLACENCY A Dangerous Disease. Author: Gaylia Johnson, CTO III Community Corrections Training Unit – Stillwater OK Dept. of Corrections Course Released:

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Presentation on theme: "COMPLACENCY A Dangerous Disease. Author: Gaylia Johnson, CTO III Community Corrections Training Unit – Stillwater OK Dept. of Corrections Course Released:"— Presentation transcript:

1 COMPLACENCY A Dangerous Disease

2 Author: Gaylia Johnson, CTO III Community Corrections Training Unit – Stillwater OK Dept. of Corrections Course Released: May 1, 2009; Updated March 1, 2011 Course Code: CLEET /SAFI Credit: 2 hours Needed Attachment: Please print out / fill in the Worksheet (2 pages) Course Information

3 Course Objectives AT THE END OF THIS COURSE PARTICIPANTS WILL: Define complacency Understand the adverse affects of complacency in business, in history, in sports, and potentially with us Understand why complacency is considered a disease Explain why complacency is dangerous List the causes and symptoms of complacency Decide which is better: Antidote or Vaccine

4 Heres the question: When youre driving, have you ever... Gone past your turnoff without realizing it? Then, this is for you – and for all of us. Pulled into the driveway and not remember the drive home? Missed the exit because your mind was somewhere else?

5 We accomplish this dramatic feat by turning the task of driving over to our subconscious mind and autonomic nervous system. The subconscious is quite skilled at driving, just as it is at walking, swimming, or riding a bike. Driving on Autopilot Once it knows how to do something, it just does it; it doesnt need to think about it again.

6 For example, when you drive the same route home everyday, your subconscious mind handles most of the driving while your conscious mind entertains higher cognitive functions. You find yourself thinking about what happened at work, tasks that need done at home, deciding what you want to eat, where you want to go, or what you want to do. And by then, OOPS, youve missed the turn! 1

7 Repetition Like driving, any repetitious task has a tendency to become boring and create lack of interest. A person may subconsciously think I can do this in my sleep or with one hand tied behind my back.

8 WORKSHEET On your worksheet, please: 1. List one or two repetitive tasks that you do (besides driving). 2. List a repetitive task that is unique to our agency.

9 Repetition Can Also Lead to Complacency Com pla cen cy [kuhm-pley-suhn-see] -Noun, Plural – cies Definition: A feeling of quiet pleasure or security Contentment or self-satisfaction, while often unaware of potential danger, trouble, or defect Unconcerned An instance of smugness with an existing situation or condition. 2

10 Complacency is Dangerous and in many occupations, it can be deadly. In a psychology lecture to airline pilots, the instructor spoke from the following outline: You lack spontaneity Youre a sucker for complacency Familiarization breeds contempt The role of rituals in itself is a trap

11 If you do a ritual in the cockpit, once you have completed that ritual – I dont care if the checklist was done right or not – everybody standing in behind you can say, You didnt do it, dummy, and you will not buy into it. You will not buy into it because you believe your ritual is complete. Get rid of rituals if you have them - theyre death traps. 3 Quoting from the instructor about the role of rituals:

12 On your worksheet, please: 3. List a ritual you perform at work. 4. Is it one you can get rid of? (Yes/No) 5. If not: (a) Is it possible to change it up? (b) List ways youve learned to watch and stay alert. 6. How does this help prevent complacency? WORKSHEET

13 Complacency Trend Complacency trends are evident. For example if an accident occurs in the workplace, usually there was a level of complacency present prior to the accident. The safety issue suddenly becomes the primary focus of everyone, employers begin using enforcement programs and awareness increases.

14 Take a look... All levels of supervision participate in accident prevention. And finally, the safety program has never been better. Then, time passes and eventually the complacency trend begins to start its decline, seeking to reach the moderate behavior of the pre-accident era. 4

15 Equation: Familiarity + Comfort = COMPLACENCY Complacency Trend Time passes... Immediate focus on prevention! New policies and training for everyone! 100 % compliance! Return to pre-incident behavior The incident is mostly forgotten Accident Incident Death Start Here Remember the heightened awareness after 9/11? Theres a song entitled, 9-11 and Then We Slumber Starting the decline

16 Complacency Can Exist Anywhere With our health In business At home

17 On your worksheet, please: 7. List an additional area where you believe complacency can (and/or does) exist. WORKSHEET

18 Dangers of complacency exist when using tools and equipment, or operating machinery. It has been estimated that 80 % to 90 % of workplace accidents are the result of unsafe acts. Complacency Happens on the Job How To Stay Alert Incidents may have a negative impact on health, safety, reliability or company reputation. 5 Office of Safety

19 One of modern medicines great success stories is the vaccination of our children against infectious diseases. Ironically, the near elimination of these health problems has lead many to become complacent about immunizations. Certain diseases crop up so rarely that parents sometimes ask if vaccines are even necessary anymore. Most diseases that can be prevented by vaccines still exist in the world, even in the U.S., although they occur rarely. The reality is that vaccinations still play a crucial role in keeping our kids healthy. Complacency Happens With Our Health 6

20 Smugness and complacency in business can lead to financial crisis. IBM, for example, poured tremendous effort into trying to maintain its proprietary dominance based on mainframes. Once brilliantly successful, they smugly missed the seismic shift to open systems and microprocessor-based technology. Complacency Happens in Business

21 7 The biggest threat to large companies is the danger of becoming complacent. There are a lot of companies that get fat, dumb, and happy, and take their eye off the ball and forget about serving customers.

22 Complacencys Evil Twin: OVERCONFIDENCE Definition: Excessively confident Presumptuous Cocksure; Arrogant Having greater, or total, certainty than circumstances warrant 2 Overconfident [oh-ver-kon-fi-duhnt] -Adjective

23 Overconfidence in History Because the ships hull was divided into 16 watertight compartments, the builders were sure that she was "unsinkable" and lifeboats were considered almost unnecessary. The boat was designed to carry 32 lifeboats but this number was reduced to 20 because it was felt that the deck would be too cluttered. There should have been a lifeboat drill, but the Captain canceled it to allow people to go to church.

24 The lookouts in the crow's nest previously requested binoculars, but the request had been denied. The time interval from first sighting of the iceberg to impact was 37 seconds. Many people believed that Titanic was not sinking but that the call to the lifeboats was actually a drill and stayed inside rather than venture out onto the freezing deck. The Titanic sank in 2 hours and 40 minutes. 8

25 Overconfidence in Battle For Example... Called the Victory Disease, this cultural phenomenon manifests itself in a mindset of overconfidence and complacency. The problem stems from two necessary preconditions: demonstrated military prowess and great military strength. Military leaders begin to underestimate the enemy's capabilities. 9

26 Battle of Waterloo June 18, 1815 Napoleon conquered territory from Spain to Russia with the strongest army Europe had seen since the Roman Empire. But Napoleons rule as Emperor of the French came to an end when he surrendered to the British at the Battle of Waterloo. His downfall was due to a number of tactical errors, including complacency. 9

27 First Battle of Bull Run In the First Battle of Bull Run, the overconfident Union populace, taking the enemy for granted and expecting a rapid conclusion to the war, was completely unprepared for the Confederate victory. July 21,

28 Following the Allied victory in World War II, U.S. forces became complacent as they shifted from combat duties to occupation duties. Korean War June 25, 1950 Young, inexperienced, undertrained, outnumbered, and without adequate supplies of ammunition, they were virtually brushed aside by the advancing North Koreans. Early on a rainy Sunday morning, the North Koreans opened fire on South Korea and proclaimed war. An American unit in Kyushu, Japan, was sent to block the North Korean advance. 9

29 Overconfidence in Sports Feb. 22, 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, NY The goaltender, Vladislav Tretiak, was also considered the best in the world Although listed as amateurs, they played professionally They were all members of the Soviet Red Army They were men and referred to as machines The Soviet ice hockey team was thought to be the best in the world.

30 (We worry about only the Czech Republic; other teams we dont worry because we are a strong team. We beat NHL Hockey teams.) "Мы только беспокоиться о Chek Республики, других групп мы не беспокоиться, потому что мы сильная команда. Мы избили НХЛ хоккей групп." Goaltender, Vladislav Tretiak They had won the gold medal in the four previous Olympics: 1964, 68, 72, and 76 They won 10-3 in an exhibition game with the U.S. team just a few days before They were the favored team 8 10

31 The U.S.A. team was considered the underdogs It was comprised of college kids and amateurs Considered boys, the average age was just 22 They were seeded 7 th as the entered the competition They had just lost 10-3 in the exhibition game It didnt look good... In 1980, hockey was neither a well known sport in the U.S., nor a very popular one 11

32 The day before the match, columnist Dave Anderson wrote in the New York Times, 2/21/80 "Unless the ice melts, or unless the United States team or another team performs a miracle, the Russians are expected to easily win the Olympic gold medal." 10

33 The USA Coach continued his tough, confrontational style, skating "hard" practices and berating his players for perceived weaknesses. He told them: Theyre ripe, theyre ready to be beaten. Watch how they change lines – they dont change as quick. Watch when they score a goal, theyre kind of confident – over confident. U.S.A. Coach, Herb Brooks That Same Day...

34 The Soviet Coach rested his players. And Heres the Difference

35 Biggest Upset in Sports History The USA had speed, defense, scorers, conditioning, goaltending, and coaching - a complete team, something the Soviets didn't realize until it was too late. 11 The United States, led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet Union team, considered to be the best international hockey team in the world, 4–3. Those in attendance remember the incredible number of American flags that were in the crowd that day, not small flags that fit comfortably in the hands of small children, but mammoth flags that were usually found on 30- foot flag polls. Americans were overcome by patriotism. 11

36 Complacency and Overconfidence Start Small IN BUSINESS – Letting up "My greatest security is my insecurity. I know that if I let up, something or someone could bring my businesses down. Yesterday's triumphs do not guarantee tomorrow's business successes." 7 THE TITANIC – Only small cracks It was not a huge hole that started the Titanic sinking, but a series of splits in the steel plating that let in enough water to overwhelm the ship. Titanic was doomed Olympic Hockey Game – Taking the opponent for granted It has happened to myself a few shifts, you just dont understand whats wrong and you get run over... Soviet spectator 10 and will take us by surprise

37 All That to Say This... If it can happen to military leaders, or to ship builders, to IBM, or to the #1 hockey team in the world and the #1 goaltender, we cannot be so complacent as to think that it cannot happen to us, Please understand: This is in no way intended to reflect on our agency or its outstanding, dedicated staff. Its only intent is to provide a vehicle by which we may become increasingly aware of the always-pending dangers within the environment in which we work. because thats exactly when it will.

38 Escape by Complacency Example #1 Complacency Trend New York State Department of Correctional Services March 19, 2004 The dedicated staff at Elmira last saw an escape in Its excellent record led to a mood of complacency, exhibited by staff over-familiarity with Vail, lax tool control, spotty inmate frisks and incomplete cell searches. Count procedures and perimeter security requirements were not followed. Failures in basic correctional practices, regarding supervision of inmates, alertness and observation, contributed to the inmates success in escaping the proverbial security envelope – the cell. Three employees are being served with notices of discipline seeking their dismissal from state service. 12 Commissioner Glenn S. Goord today released his report into the July 7, 2003, escape by two inmates from the maximum-security Elmira Correctional Facility in Chemung County. The report concludes that complacency on the part of employees -- from administrators to line staff, combined with the egregious behavior of three workers -- contributed to the first escape in 19 years from the prison that today houses 1,840 inmates. In the report, Commissioner Goord said, The escape of inmates Timothy Vail and Timothy Morgan was avoidable. It resulted from complacency manifested in a widespread breakdown in Departmental practices, long- time policies and security procedures. The inmates recognized and took advantage of these lapses. Commissioner Goord said, There is little doubt that, had there been strict adherence to established policy, procedure and practices, the escape would have been thwarted. Commissioner: Staff complacency contributed to escape from Elmira prison

39 Escape by Complacency Example #2 Officers Complacency May Draw Prosecution The Nov. 19, 2008 letter written by the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) Director of Facilities Operations Derrick D. Schofield was typed a month after two older men escaped from the high-security Hays State Prison in Pennville. In fact, if as a result of illegal actions or complacency of staff an inmate escapes from custody, those responsible can expect to be prosecuted, Schofields letter states. Immediately after the escapes, the warden was dismissed and two correctional officers were suspended, as prison officials struggled to discover how two older convicts climbed over three fences and eight strands of razor wire without notice. That was the time when Schofield penned his letter. 13 Expounding on his proposition, Schofield suggested that guards should serve an escape convicts sentence if complacency was involved. If the inmate cant do his or her time, then I suggest we allow those responsible for the escape to do the time for the inmate, Schofield stated. We cant allow criminal or negligent behavior without severe consequences and it will always be my recommendation to the commissioner to seek out those individuals for prosecution. Georgia Department of Corrections December 19, 2008 FYI: In Roman times, guards were put to death if their prisoners escaped. (No complacency there!)

40 Complacency Leads to Poor Security Practices Incomplete cell searches DOCUMENTED CAUSES FOR ESCAPES: Failure to check ID cards Failure to properly perform strip searches Sleeping or exercising in towers or on perimeter posts Poor tool and key control Failure to make security checks Overlooking contraband and other material

41 It is not meant to suggest that correctional officers do not do their jobs or do not understand their responsibilities. Having been correctional officers, we know this is not the case. The point is, however, that the complacency factor in this business exceeds that in others not characterized by a reliance on incident- driven systems that are called up infrequently. Unfortunately, in our business, misunder- standings, complacency, or shortcuts in security can and do kill. 14 A Correctional Officer Speaks Out

42 Complacency is a Dangerous Disease Caused by a Virus Vi rus [vahy-ruh s] –Noun, plural -rus es. Definition: A harmful or corrupting agent; A corrupting influence on morals or the intellect; poison; something that poisons one's soul or mind 2

43 Note to Self: REMEMBER: Its a slow fade from black and white to gray. It allows offenders to easily predict our actions and seize the initiative. Why is it Dangerous? Symptoms are not obvious as they might appear, but usually become obvious in hindsight. The real danger comes from how easily and gradually the disease can creep into our thinking.

44 On your worksheet, please: 8. List one way you think complacency or overconfidence can creep into our thinking. WORKSHEET

45 Why is it a Disease? Its contagious It follows an established pattern A dangerous one...

46 CONFIDENCE DESTROYED T I M E P A S S E S Confidence begins to grow Learns new routine with an attitude of honesty and degree of humility Continues to build healthy self esteem Is competent; develops a sense of worth, and value to the team SAFE Task becomes the usual routine Boredom and disinterest set in Becomes very comfortable and familiar Starts to cut corners with no apparent problems Overestimates expertise and underestimates offenders ESCAPE New Task for Employee X Start Here Becomes complacent, smug, overconfident, borders on arrogant The Dangerous Pattern FEARLESS Familiarity breeds contempt complacency

47 How Do I Approach My Job? I know Ill never fall for offender games SELF-CHECK With a degree of humility and honesty Sometimes I under or overestimate offenders With boredom and disinterest Maybe a little overconfident Competent As part of a team SAFE FEARLESS With a teachable spirit Watchful and alert Whatever my task, I do my best Its a piece of cake

48 What Causes the Virus in the First Place? Overconfidence Taking risks Dismissing feedback Pride/Arrogance Feeling invincible INTERNAL INFLUENCES CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP 15 Mix broth, carrot, and celery in a saucepan. Season with pepper. Heat to a boil. Stir in noodles and chicken. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until noodles are done. 3-1/2 C chicken broth 1 medium carrot, sliced 1 stalk celery, sliced 1/2 C uncooked egg noodles 1 C cubed cooked chicken Good for when you have a virus.

49 Knowing all the answers Overestimating ones own expertise and Underestimating the offenders Developing an It wont happen to me attitude Taking shortcuts in the absence of consequences MORE INTERNAL INFLUENCES

50 Over crowding Understaffed Budget cuts Poor communication Optional Take-it-Yourself Stress Test popup/life-change-stress-test (when you have finished the online test, hit your browsers Back button to return to this course) EXTERNAL INFLUENCES Long hours Low morale Job Stress Burnout

51 How is it Contagious? Complacency spreads like a disease from one worker to another. One employee sees a co-worker taking a shortcut and figures, "If they can do it, why can't I?" If left unchecked, shortcuts and negative attitudes can spread quickly to epidemic proportions. 16

52 Virus Carriers Seven Well-known Virus Carriers: The Steamer (always steaming about something) 16 The PessimistThe Uncommitted The Rumor Monger The Its Not-My-Job-erThe Resister The Perfectionist

53 Q. Whats an immediate and effective way to deal with virus carriers? An ti dote [an-ti-doht] –Noun Definition: A medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc. Something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects 2 QUICK! Stop the Virus! Way #1 A. Antidote

54 Antidotes Counteract the Virus Reacting to a negative situation is instinctive. It is natural, easy, and part of our defense system. Reactions are determined by external circumstances. An angry reaction or blaming others will make you susceptible to the virus, spreading it even faster. REACTION NOT GOOD VA + R = O Virus Attack + Reaction = Negative Outcome

55 However, a thought-out acknowledgement or reply is behavior that comes from internal knowledge and is based on personal values and choices. We need to train ourselves to find and use a positive response that will create the best possible outcome, thus helping to stop the virus. RESPONSE VA + R = O Virus Attack + Response = Positive Outcome 16 Great Antidote!

56 On your worksheet, please: 9. Indicate how you would respond to a virus carrier (with humor, anger, reason, avoidance, etc.) 10. What do you feel would be the most effective and why? WORKSHEET

57 THIS VIRUS STOPS WITH ME! WHILE THINKING Antidote Action Plan Instead of focusing on a situation over which we have no control, focus on a positive response to a virus carrier,

58 QUICK! STOP THE VIRUS Way #2 Vaccine Q. Whats the best way to PREVENT the virus in the first place? vac cine [vak-seen] –Noun Definition Any preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease. 2 A.

59 Recognizing Symptoms Before we can inoculate for complacency, we need to look for symptoms: The symptoms of the disease, building one on the other, can develop into a full-blown, possibly fatal situation. 5 Under or overestimating offendersUnrealistic expectationsAttitude of overconfidence/arrogance/invincibilityRecent successes in taking shortcuts Comfortable/familiar with routines and tasks (REMEMBER - symptoms are not often apparent)

60 Acknowledge any underlying factors. Guide To Vaccination Know the disease. Arm yourself with a thorough awareness and recognize that there is a complacency problem. Acknowledge any underlying factors. Understand its root causes. Vaccine

61 Administering the Vaccine Action Plan Recognize attitude problems: Replace negative, ineffective reactions with adaptable, positive responses 16 Clarify any issues that might lead to complacency Address situations that cause stress Curb unrealistic expectations Take responsibility/ownership a.) this requires an honest self-evaluation - or - b.) caring enough to confront a team member

62 15 Give total attention to detail, even though the inspections are routine and have been performed a thousand times before. Failure to properly inspect and test all systems could result in catastrophic failure and death. 4 Practice the opposite of complacency: Inject coworkers and team members with a good attitude (which is also contagious) Alert others to the debilitating effects of the disease Instill an airline pilots mindset: Discontent Concern Dissatisfied

63 Dosage and Instructions Take at the first sign of feeling comfortable and safe. This symptom is a big threat to your well-being and you are drifting into a complacent mode. WHEN: Administer full dose of realization immediately. Understanding this disease and its symptoms will yield increased vigilance, making you less likely to succumb to the disease's effects. AMOUNT: Do Not Overdose Overdosing may result in the opposite extreme: Over cautiousness WARNING:

64 Guard Your Safety We cannot afford to let complacency take root in our business. Use opportunities to get the message across that complacency is dangerous as dangerous as any machine, chemical, or other hazard. Lets continue to create a safe and secure work environment with an emphasis on identifying, alerting, planning, problem solving, and prevention. Antidote Vaccine Symptoms Disease Virus. Complacency Dangerous is a caused by a Its are usually more evident in hindsight. counteracts. prevents. An The

65 Self satisfaction Better teamwork Promotability Accomplished goals Happy supervisor Positive Outcomes Self-respect Great mentor

66 The Gold Thread A multitude of remarkable and diverse threads are woven together to create the Department of Corrections fabric. The strength of the warp (lengthwise threads) is in its mission, vision, and values. The weft (crosswise threads) represent all our staff. But within that weave, is a very special gold thread...

67 You are appreciated and valued. You have a great opportunity to be a change agent in this business of ours. Keep vigilant. Stay alert. THATS YOU!

68 End Notes 1. Carl Allen Schoner, 24/7 Press Release, Sept.29, Definitions - Dictionary.ComDictionary.Com 3. Pilot Psychology Lecture: and then type in Pilot Psychology Lecture 4. David Folk, Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, 1105 Media Inc., Chatsworth, CA - The Workplace Complacency Trend in Accident Prevention, Jan. 1, Avoiding Complacency on the Job,, October 17, Kids Health Edward de Bono & Robert Heller, Complacency in Business: How smugness and complacency in business can lead to financial crises, Thinking Managers, July 7, Titanic Timothy Karcher, The Victory Disease, US Army Professional Writing Collection: July-August Miracle on Ice - on Ice on Ice 11. Kevin Allen, College kids perform Olympic miracle, ESPN Classic Reprint, NY State DCS, Office of Public Information, Commissioner: Staff complacency contributed to escape from Elmira prison, March 19, 2004, 13. Jason Espy, Officers Complacency May Draw Prosecution, The Summerville News, December 19, Stan Czerniak, Continuous Improvement in Prison Security, Corrections Today, October Campbell's Favorite Recipes 16. Suzanne Turner, Team Leaders In-service 2000,The Attitude Virus: Curing Negativity in the Workplace, Training Academy Lesson Plan

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