Real World Lessons Presented at Second Day of the 2012 International High Reliability Organizing Conference
May 23, 2012
(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – May 23, 2012) Day two of the Fifth International High Reliability Organizing Conference opened with a morning plenary address from Kathleen Sutcliffe, Ph.D, professor of Management and Organization, University of Michigan Stephen Ross School of Business, on the topic of “Safety-Efficiency Tradeoffs: Lessons from HROs.” Sutcliffe focused on the tradeoffs between safety and efficiency in organizations pursuing high reliability. According to Sutcliffe, reliable performance in high reliability organizations is the result of continuous management of fluctuations in job performance and human interactions.
To cope with untoward events before their effects escalate, Sutcliffe explained, high reliability organizations need to build capabilities for resilience.
Plenary panelists included:
- Todd Conklin, Ph. D. advisor to the director, Los Alamos National Laboratory, presented on “seeking Reliability through Operations, Attitudes, and Measuring Success.” Listen to a podcast on Conklin’s presentation.
- Najm Meshkati, Ph.D., CPE, tenured Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California. Meshkati spoke about the lessons of the BP Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform accident.
- Joe Martin, San Bernardino Group – Emergency Services-Fire/EMS, a 30-year veteran of the fire and emergency medical service, with the Los Angeles Fire Department spoke about “Safety Through Management and Work According to Purpose.”
The afternoon plenary address was presented by:
- John S. Carroll, Morris A. Adelman professor of management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, discussed a range of approaches for achieving safety and reliability within an organization. He described the concept of using “Three Lenses” – Strategic Design, Political, and Cultural – to examine an organization and its people. Carroll explained that an analysis utilizing all three lenses is more likely to find the complex interdependencies, difficulties for implementing change, and different cultures among groups and individuals within an organization.
Plenary panelists included:
- Ralph T. Soule, MS, Captain, USN (Ret.), Spatial Integrated Systems, Inc., spoke about the role of a regulator in evaluating a high reliability organization, using the attitudes and culture that support high reliability, and reaping the benefits of high reliability.
- Charles A. Mowll, FACHE, CSSBB, executive vice president for Business Development, Government and External Relations, The Joint Commission, presented “A Comprehensive Approach to Achieving High Reliability in Healthcare.” Listen to a podcast interview on some of the key points from Mowll’s presentation.
The Joint Commission is hosting the conference May 21-23, at The Joint Commission Conference Center located in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. The conference, organized by Strategic Reliability, LLC, features academics and HRO veterans from diverse industries who will share practical steps to help organizations move toward high reliability. To keep you updated on the conference happenings, The Joint Commission is providing daily updates including podcasts featuring select speakers. View the conference agenda.