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High Reliability Organizing (HRO): The Third Component of a Safe and Productive Unit Presented at the Pacific Northwest Fire Operations Workshop Portland,

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Presentation on theme: "High Reliability Organizing (HRO): The Third Component of a Safe and Productive Unit Presented at the Pacific Northwest Fire Operations Workshop Portland,"— Presentation transcript:

1 High Reliability Organizing (HRO): The Third Component of a Safe and Productive Unit Presented at the Pacific Northwest Fire Operations Workshop Portland, OR – March 17, 2010 by David Christenson

2 Already an HRO?

3 1 Respect feedback Be willing to share concerns Be a student Be a student Rules don’t and can’t cover every situation 2 Just Reporting Learning Flexible Safety Culture Three Components of A Safe And Productive Unit  Track small failures  Resist oversimplification  Sensitive to operations  Maintain capabilities for resilience  Take advantage of shifting locations of expertise HRO Principles: 3

4 Fundamental to success in HRO implementation are the connection of people and the trust necessary for optimal knowledge flow. Building on Strengths

5 Thrive or Survive? Study: Since the year 2000 about seventy- five percent just survive at work.

6 My Experience Since 1978 my experiences have taught me that: The tools of: Organizational Learning Leadership Development and High Reliability Organizing Are effective ways to begin connecting people and engaging them in their work.

7

8 1994

9 Human Factors & Org. Learning

10 Roberts Weick Sutcliffe

11 Vulnerable --- Fallible Pressure Social Political Economic Peer Human Factors Stress Fatigue Ego

12 Challenges that Call for HRO Roberts & Rousseau, 1989 Hypercomplexity Tight Coupling Extreme Hierarchical Differentiation Multiple Decision-Makers in a Complex Communication Network High Degree of Accountability Need for Frequent, Immediate Feedback Compressed Time Constraints High Workforce Mobility

13 Swiss Cheese Model James Reason’s Epidemiological Model Analogy The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error by Sidney Dekker, 2006

14 Swiss Cheese Model vs. Metaphor Conditions

15 Recognition Primed Decision-Making Gary Klein S CA 2007 S CA 2003

16 Recognition Primed Decision-Making Gary Klein

17 New: Critical Thinking Skills Training A deliberate, systematic awareness of the process and products of one’s own thinking Targets the common errors of: Overlooking important details Misinterpreting information Making incorrect assumptions

18 Critical Thinking Improving the probability of a desirable outcome by improving your judgment Combine Both Recognition Primed Decision-Making and Critical Thinking Recognition/ Metacognition

19 Critical Thinking Through Dialog Teamwork and Communications Improve Determine the acceptability of a belief or action Q & A about alternative possibilities Improves understanding of the situation and plan Learn more about beliefs, assumptions and interests Generate more successful decisions and create novel solutions

20 AARs & Sand Tables

21 Dynamic Decision-Making

22 Principles of HRO  Tracking Small Failures  Resisting Oversimplification  Sensitive To Operations  Maintaining Capabilities For Resilience  Taking Advantage Of Shifting Locations Of Expertise Weick & Sutcliffe, Managing the Unexpected 2001

23 HRO Audits & Implementation Fundamental to success in HRO implementation are the connection of people and the trust necessary for optimal knowledge flow. Is the HRO information arriving in the context of a fertile learning environment where people are connected, engaged, and where knowledge flows?

24 Context “To treat information as context-free, that is, independent of circumstances, places us at risk for mindless thoughts, decisions, and behaviors. Placing information within context leads to mindfulness.” Ellen Langer, publishing Mindfulness. in 1989, and The Power of Mindful Learning in1997

25 We All Needed To Learn Quickly

26 Connected “Mindlessness develops from automatic behaviors, repetition, and use of a single perspective.” (Langer 1989) Mindfulness welcomes new information, becomes inclusive of the process used and the environment actors are in, rather than only on the outcome.

27 Soft Aspects? Connection improves both individual and group performance So paying attention to creating an optimal work environment requires paying attention to the so-called soft aspects Such as the meaning of work and the way people treat each other.

28 So What? Connection in positive work relationships provides: A sense of well-being, minimizes stress, and makes us more trusting. Without connection: People feel lonely, isolated, confused and become distrusting, disrespectful and dissatisfied...Corrosive environments. Dr. Edward Hallowell at Harvard Medical School.

29 Costs “The Gallup Organization conservatively estimates the annual economic cost to the American economy from the approximately 22 million American workers who are extremely negative or “actively disengaged” to be between $250 and $300 billion.”

30 Vision + Value + Voice = Connection Vision when everyone is united by common values, proud of their unit’s reputation, and motivated by their mission Value exists in an organization when everyone understands the basic psychological needs of people, behaves in ways that appreciates their positive, unique contributions, and acts to help them achieve their potential. Voice exists in an organization when everyone seeks the ideas of others, share ideas and opinions honestly, and safeguards relational connections.

31 “Next step” in the evolution of organizations Beyond masters of task excellence Beyond “star systems” … we in it shall be remembere’d, We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:

32 Inspirational Leadership Leaders know that one of their main responsibilities is to inspire the people they lead. Vision represents the cultural element of inspiring identity

33 Inspirational Leadership Human value in a culture is: About treating people with respect and dignity About empowering them to achieve their potential. Leaders need to identify and remove the obstacles that make people feel devalued.

34 Delete What Devalues Eliminating disrespectful, condescending and rude behavior. Going easy on criticism. Minimizing unnecessary rules and excessive controls. Eliminating excessive signs of hierarchy. Getting rid of devaluing managers.

35 Add Elements that Enhance Value Making a human connection with as many people as possible. Treating and speaking to employees as partners. Helping employees find the right roles. Educating, informing, and listening to employees. Decentralizing decision making. Recognizing the human need for work/life balance

36 Leaders Increase Trust “ Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create – much faster than you probably think possible…I contend that the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is not only vital to our personal and inter-personal well being; it is the key leadership competency of the new global economy.” Stephen M. R. Covey, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

37 Trust – The Hidden Variable Strategy x Execution = Results should be changed to show it by: (Strategy x Execution) Trust = Results Following charts from: a study of trust in business by LogicaCMG and Warwick Business School in 2005; another by Watson Wyatt, WorkUSA study in 2002; and another study about trust in schools presented by Stanford professor Tony Byrk, in 2004, published in 2002.

38 The 60% Tax (Very Low Trust) In the organization…In personal relationships… Unhealthy working environment Unhappy employees and stakeholders Intense political atmosphere with clear camps and parties Excessive time wasted defending positions and decisions Painful micromanagement and bureaucracy Hostile behaviors (yelling, blaming, accusing, name-calling) followed by periods of brief contrition Guarded communication Constant worrying and suspicion Mistakes remembered and used as weapons Real issues not surfaced or dealt with effectively

39 The 40% Dividend (World-class Trust) In the organization…In personal relationships… High Collaboration and partnering Effortless communication Positive, transparent relationships with employees and all stakeholders Fully aligned systems and structures Strong innovation, confidence, and loyalty True joy in family and friendships, characterized by caring and love Free, effortless communication Inspiring work done together and characterized by purpose creativity and excitement Completely open transparent relationships Amazing energy created by relationships

40 Inspiring trust Extending “smart trust,” restoring trust when it has been lost, and developing a propensity to trust. “…where people begin to trust each other and share ideas…(changes occur.) Cultivating “Knowledge Flow” increases connection and people begin to make better decisions, increase creativity, and inspire innovation so they start thriving in a healthy environment.”

41 Knowledge Flow The expanded connection component called Voice Increases creativity and innovation Sgt. Curtis Cullen’s idea for the Rhino tank when it quickly made its way to Gen. Omar Bradley in time to liberate France in WWII AIM-7F and Raytheon Missile Systems After Action Reviews

42 What “Learning Organizations” Do Learning organizations become skilled at continuously: 1.) Creating, acquiring, interpreting, transferring and retaining knowledge 2.) And at purposefully modifying their behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights Definition by David Garvin in Learning In Action: A Guide To Putting The Learning Organization To Work, 2000

43 A Litmus Test Does my org. have a defined learning agenda? Is my org. open to discordant information? Does my org. avoid repeated mistakes? Does my org. lose critical knowledge when key people leave? Does my org. act on what it knows?

44 A Supportive Learning Environment Psychological safety Appreciation of differences Openness to new ideas Time for reflection

45 Leadership & Reinforcing Learning Invite input Ask probing questions Encourage multiple points of view Provide time for reflection

46 Information to Knowledge Informed Culture Timely Available Candid Disseminated Learning Culture “If timely, candid information generated by knowledgeable people is available and disseminated, an informed culture becomes a learning culture.” Weick & Sutcliffe, Managing the Unexpected 2001

47 HRO = A Mindset

48 Total Immersion In A Mindset That Holds Our Foundations Together Fundamental to success in HRO implementation are the connection of people and the trust necessary for optimal knowledge flow.

49 You can do this! Not everyone will right away Org. Learning, Leadership & HRO thinking, behaviors and principles are worth the effort Quality – Likelihood of harm to your processes and products will be reduced Safety – Likelihood of harm to your people and your publics will be reduced Reliability – Absence or reduction of harm in extreme, uncertain, or unexpected environments. Trust and confidence will increase internally and externally

50 Questions? Need Resources? Contact information: David Christenson Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center National Advanced Fire & Resources Institute


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