Imagine Knowing…the possibilities are endless Strategies for organizational success

8Sep/170

Do you have a high reliability organization (HRO)?

High reliability organizations (HROs) are organizations that cannot fail, or try hard not to fail, as the consequences could be disastrous.  Examples of HROs include nuclear power plants and chemical manufacturers.  However, any organization that wants to keep operating and serving customers can use HRO practices as well.  When organizations use just-in-time processes and reduce redundancies, they may make more profit, at least until a disruption of some type occurs.  Efficiency does not always also equal resilience.

A synopsis of the HRO principles (using Weick and Sutcliffe's 2001, 2007 2015 works) includes:

  1. Preoccupation with failure: looking for possible problems and examining near-misses for lessons learned
  2. Reluctance to simplify: determining the root cause of a problem instead of blaming symptoms or personnel
  3. Sensitivity to operations: sensing the subtle signals of something going wrong and making corrections before things escalate
  4. Commitment to resilience: making the organization adaptable and able to recover more quickly
  5. Deference to expertise: openly listening to ideas from involved personnel and subject matter experts rather than hearing only from the bosses.

Integrating HRO principles within your company may help improve the safety and morale of your employees while increasing the quality of your products or services.

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