Author Archives: Barb Phillips

Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices

Posted: January 26th, 2015 in Courses, Summit, Training

Risk Assessments are necessary in all safety processes, particularly to move programs beyond Behavior Based Safety (BBS).

At least qualitative Risk Assessments (RA) need to be included during any safety-related discussions or interactions, conversations, and meetings. RA are needed every time any safety-related decision needs to be made; and therefore, to move safety programs beyond traditional BBS principles and practices.

RA in safety processes, including BBS – type programs, improve decision-making by making them less subjective, emotional and biased. Safety decision-making needs to be based on the comparative risk levels of the options under consideration. Any chosen safety decision needs to be the option for which the likelihood and quantum of benefit and gain outweighs the likelihood and quantum of loss and harm more than for any other option.

Which option provides the best chance of gain and benefit at both personal and corporate levels?

One such illustrative example is related to un-demonizing the term “shortcut”.

The original, best definition of a shortcut is very simple, positive and with no emotive undertones:

“a smarter, better way of doing a job”

or

“the method, procedure that best reduces the time / $ / energy needed to achieve business objectives.”

Can a shortcut ever be an appropriate, lower risk and authorized job method? And how?

In any safety discussions between managers, supervisors and workers, this definition can help clarify the troublesome distinction between “finding a shortcut,” and “taking a shortcut without an authorized risk assessment.” Finding is undeniably “smart.” Taking without RA is patently “dumb.”

Issues of workplace complexity and relationships between managers, supervisors and workers need to be addressed to be able to move safety programs and cultures beyond BBS principles and practices. Workplace relationships are based on trust, respect, credibility, encouragement, and valued appreciation of jointly-found solutions of challenges and issues. RA provides processes needed in relationship-based safety RBS.

Positive relationships include establishing and holding common beliefs that we want everyone to come to work with their brains as well as their brawn, (and hopefully their hearts), because we all recognize that it is in everyone’s interest for everyone to be always challenged to find smarter better ways of doing our jobs. That is what business is about! It is the never-ending goal of finding smarter, more efficient, more effective, more productive and safer (lower risk) ways of doing our work.

However, too often we tell our people we need and want their “shortcut” ideas for more efficiency and productivity, but as soon as they do give them we jump on them and label their suggestions with negative emotive labels such as “violations” or “breaches” of existing rules and describe them in meaningless, undefined terms such as “unsafe acts” or “at-risk behaviors”. Use of these negative, emotion-loaded terms actually discourages searching for the deep underlying root causes of an apparently stupid, careless, and lazy “violation.”

It is more appropriate to use non-emotive descriptors such as “variations,” “adaptations,” “departures,” or very simply “work-arounds.”

All day-to-day safety meetings, discussions, and personal risk taking behavioral choices involve BBS questions such as:

  • Which procedure or method is safer (lower risk) than another?
  • Which is the safer tool, plant, equipment for this job?
  • Which risk control option is better than the others?
  • Which route should be taken?
  • Which control panel design is less error-provoking than the other?
  • Which roster is best for managing fatigue?
  • What is the appropriate time that we need to allocate to this incident investigation?
  • What to say and how to interact / converse with my peers, supervisors and managers?

These real examples of safety optioneering processes make a compelling argument for doing at least a qualitative (but preferably a Semi – Quantitative) Risk Assessment.

In fact, Risk Assessments will be recognized as definitely needed every time any safety-related decision needs to be made and therefore can move safety programs beyond traditional BBS principles and practices often confused and undermined by subjective beliefs, biases and perceptions.

How can you improve your confidence in the accuracy, reliability, consistency of Risk Assessments?

Learn Best Practices in the training courses being offered as below.

Houston, Texas
May 20-21, (Weds-Thurs)

To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1505HOUS20.html

Calgary, Canada
May 27-28, (Wed-Thurs)
To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1505CALG27.html

Las Vegas, Nevada
June 1-2 (Mon-Tues before the TapRooT® Summit)
To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1506LASV01-RISKMGMT.html

IN-HOUSE Courses are also available. Contact us for a quote.

Jim WhitWhiting.Jiming, an international expert in risk management and root cause analysis will be conducting the courses detailed above. The courses are the updated versions of a highly successful course that he has been offering for a number of years to over 200 attendees at Pre-Summit courses at past TapRooT® Summits. Due to increasing requests for more offerings of the course, the TapRooT® folks and Jim have decided to offer three RAMBP PUBLIC Courses in North America in 2015.

Jim was on Committees developing the Risk Management Standard AS/ISO 31000 which has been adopted word for word by US standard bodies as ANSI Z690.2 and Canadian bodies as CAN/CSA/ISO 31000. He has developed Risk Assessment unique tools and processes for maximizing the confidence of the results of assessments need to make all safety-related decision-making such as – what is a tolerable risk ?

Last Chance to Double Your Chances to Win an iPad Mini!

Posted: January 26th, 2015 in Summit

We are giving away an iPad Mini to the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit early bird prize drawing winner, and you still have a chance to get TWO tickets in the drawing.

To enter and receive two tickets, simply submit your paid Summit registration to our office before the end of January, 2015. You can also receive one ticket in the drawing if you submit your paid registration before the end of February.

The early registration drawing will be held at the Kickoff Session, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel (You must be present to win!). This drawing is in addition to the other prize giveaways we have planned for the 2015 Summit.

If you are planning to register for the Summit, don’t delay! Increase your odds of winning an iPad Mini.

REGISTER NOW for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Friday Joke: Please Follow the Rules on the Sign

Posted: January 23rd, 2015 in Jokes

Violators will be rewarded! Yes!

areward

And don’t drink and make signs either.

don't drink

 

I know it will be hard, but just please try.

walk without walking

Career Development: How to Be a Great Leader

Posted: January 20th, 2015 in Career Development

Who is the happiest man every measured by science? And what was he thinking when he was being measured? And what does any of this have to do with business leadership? View this video and find out!

Richard Phillips, Real Life Inspiration for the Movie Captain Phillips, to Speak at 2015 Summit

Posted: January 19th, 2015 in Best Practice Presentations, Best Practice Presenters, Summit

Learn important lessons on leadership at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit from Richard Phillips, real life inspiration for the movie, Captain Phillips, who will be the closing keynote speaker on Day 3. The Summit begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 right after our 2-day Pre-Summit courses (June 1 and 2, 2015).

Phillips, Richard

Richard Phillips

For five days in April 2009, the world was glued to their TV screens as Captain Richard Phillips became the center of an extraordinary international drama when he was captured by Somali pirates who hijacked his ship, the first hijacking of a US ship in more than 200 years.

Though Captain Phillips describes himself as a “regular guy,” the world knows that his actions were anything but ordinary after the pirate attack. His harrowing and heroic efforts to survive an ordeal that riveted the world were only matched in valor by his decisive actions to save his crew and the ship they sailed. President Obama said, “I share the country’s admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans.”

REGISTER for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1-5, 2015, Las Vegas.

 

 

 

Remembering an Accident: Boston Molasses Disaster

Posted: January 15th, 2015 in Accidents, Video

On January 15, 1919, the North end of Boston was one of the most congested neighborhoods in the entire world. There were about 40,000 people in a one mile square of geographic space. When a large molasses tank burst and a huge wave of molasses rushed through the streets at approximately 35 mph, 150 people were injured and 21 were killed.

Theories ensued after the disaster. Some said the tanks were intentionally set to explode by anarchists, and others believed the fermenting of the molasses led to the explosion. In the end, it was discovered the person who oversaw the construction of the tank wasn’t an engineer or an architect. He couldn’t even read a blueprint!

According to folklore, residents claim that on a hot summer day, the area still smells of molasses.

What is your blueprint for investigating incidents and finding and fixing root causes, and can everyone read it? Our 2-day TapRooT® Course provides all the essentials and is designed for everyone, from beginner to expert. (Learn more.)

Who’s Responsible for Your Professional Development?

Posted: January 12th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

Who’s in charge of your professional development? Well, according to recent research, 71% of workers believe employers should identify job opportunities and career paths. So, it’s interesting that, according to the same study, 85% of managers believe employees should identify their own job opportunities and career paths.

So who’s in charge of your professional development?

And how can you expect to get anywhere in 2015?

Read this Forbes article by Lisa Quast and find out:

Who’s in Charge of Career Planning?

Don’t Miss Important Lessons Learned from Multi-fatality Incidents at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

Posted: January 12th, 2015 in Best Practice Presentations, Best Practice Presenters, Summit

Alan Smith and Mhorvan Sherret, Directors, Matrix Risk Control (UK) Ltd
and Law Enforcement Specialists,  are the closing keynote speakers for the second day of the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. The Summit begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 right after our 2-day Pre-Summit courses (June 1 and 2, 2015).

Smith.Alan.2

Alan Smith

Alan Smith and Mhorvan Sherret founded Matrix Risk Control (UK) Ltd. following successful careers in law enforcement when they were at the forefront of many major investigations. They wanted to promote excellence in investigation within industry to improve performance, and ensure that many of the tragic events they had witnessed never happened again. Both Alan and Mhorvan are passionate about not only finding out what happened, but why it happened and, most importantly, helping to put in place preventative measures that really work.

They have worked closely with System Improvements Inc. since 2009, spreading the TapRooT® word throughout the globe, and assisting organizations in making things better.

Sherret.Mhorvan

In founding and developing their own business, Alan and Mhorvan are acutely aware of the importance of their people and that their success is entirely relative to the performance of their staff.

Sadly, both have been involved in many incidents where the value of people has not been fully appreciated until it was too late, and they have learned the hard way how crucial it is to build a caring culture around a business and the importance of being ready for the unthinkable.

A death or deaths in the workplace can have a hugely negative impact on an organization but much can be done in readiness to ensure that the business continues effectively and, more importantly, those left behind continue to function in an environment where they know that the organization has done the right thing, and dealt with the helplessness that such an event brings in a sensitive and caring manner.

Alan and Mhorvan will share with you their experiences of multi-fatality incident consequences, and how you can prepare your organization for the nightmare scenario.

REGISTER for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

5 Reasons to Bring Your Family to our June Summit!

Posted: January 7th, 2015 in Local Attractions, Summit

We all know about the late night adventures Vegas has to offer, but what if family fun is more your style?

June is a great time for family fun because the kids will just be finishing up another school year. Don’t be afraid to bring them to play during the Global TapRooT® Summit June 1 – 5, 2015. They’ll love these 5 types of attractions, and you’ll get a kick out of them too.

1. Animals

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay – See their Shipwreck exhibit, where water, fish, sea turtles, and sharks surround you – behind glass walls, of course!

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat – Come see white lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers, not to mention dolphins! If you have some extra bucks to spare, your child can even be a dolphin trainer for a day.

2. Rides

Adventuredome – Your kids – and you – will be wowed by the Adventuredome Theme Park’s 25 simulations, rides, and IMAX experiences for all ages.

Gondola Rides at the Venetian – Enjoy this quintessential Italian boat ride through the waters near the Venetian Hotel, complete with your own singing gondolier.

Nevada Southern Railway – Do your kids love trains? Take them for a ride Saturday or Sunday after the Summit. For an extra fee, they can even ride in the engineer’s cab!

3. Fun Learning

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour – This free self-guided factory tour is just as delicious as it sounds, with generous free samples to boot. Don’t forget to check out the Cactus Garden and M&Ms world as well.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum – Learn about ancient dinosaurs, Egyptian pharaohs, and much more at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

4. Nature

Red Rock Canyon, Springs Preserve, and Mount Charleston all offer hiking, camping, and a peaceful getaway from the madness of Las Vegas life.

5. Entertainment

Pinball Hall of Fame – This quirky attraction boasts over 1,000 vintage pinball machines for you and your family to play. Each game costs from 25 to 50 cents. Finally! Machines in Vegas the kids can have fun on too.

Volcano at the Mirage – Come early for this free water, light, and music show outside the Mirage.

Bellagio Fountains – You’ve heard of these famed fountains; now bring the kids and see the hotel’s classic music and light show up close and personal for free.

Tournament of Kings Dinner Show – Take your family back in time and watch jousting, dancing maidens, and invading armies, all while eating like medieval knights: With your fingers.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. You can create memories with your family that you’ll never forget. When you come to the Global TapRooT® Summit Week 2015, you can learn the latest root cause analysis best practices and bring the family for some good clean fun too.

Learn How Character Drives Success from Dr. Beverly Chiodo at the 2015 Summit

Posted: January 5th, 2015 in Best Practice Presentations, Best Practice Presenters, Summit
Dr. Chiodo

Dr. Beverly Chiodo

Dr. Beverly Chiodo is the opening keynote speaker for the second day of the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. The Summit begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 right after our 2-day Pre-Summit courses (June 1 and 2, 2015).

Known as the “Dr. of Encouragement,” Dr. Beverly Chiodo has received state and national recognition for her teaching including National Business Teacher for 1997 by the National Business Education Association. She has also been “Hero of the Day” on CBS national TV program, This Morning.

Dr. Jerome Supple, President of Southwest Texas State University said, “She has won every teaching award this university has to offer.”

We are excited to invite this award-winning, inspiring speaker back to the Summit to teach us about the importance of character.

REGISTER NOW for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Santa Didn’t Bring You an iPad Mini?

Posted: January 5th, 2015 in Summit

That’s okay! You can still win one by REGISTERING EARLY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

We are giving away an iPad Mini to the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit early bird prize drawing winner.  An iPad Mini has all the great features of an iPad offering millions of ways to learn, work and play.

To enter the drawing, simply submit your paid Summit registration to our office before the end of February, 2015.

Here’s how you can get the most tickets to win – register for the Summit:

by January 31 and you’ll get 2 tickets in the drawing.

by February 28 and you’ll get 1 ticket in the drawing.

The early registration drawing will be held at the Kickoff Session, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel (You must be present to win!). This drawing is in addition to the other prize giveaways we have planned for the 2015 Summit.

If you are planning to register for the Summit, don’t delay!  Increase your odds of winning an iPad Mini.

LEARN MORE about the Summit.

Learn How to Be Unstoppable with Walter Bond, former NBA Player, at the 2015 Summit

Posted: December 29th, 2014 in Best Practice Presentations, Best Practice Presenters, Summit

Walter Bond is the closing keynote speaker on opening day of the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. The Summit begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 right after our 2-day Pre-Summit courses (June 1 and 2, 2015).

Bond.Walter

Walter Bond

Only 41% of the US workforce say “people take full responsibility for their actions” in their organization. That means that less than half of American workers are accountable for their work performance and production. If the key to production is accountability, Walter Bond, Mr. Accountability, is a no-brainer. Walter knows how teams and individuals should adapt, motivate themselves and hold themselves accountable for delivering great results when the game is changing. We believe that accountability from the top down is the key business game-changer that nobody is talking about or truly understands. In a competitive world, we are helping our clients thrive in business by teaching the power of accountability. Clearly, research reveals that organizations with poor accountability have high turnover, poor performance, subpar products and services, and low employee engagement. The bottom line is that the elephant in the room is . . . ACCOUNTABILITY.

Your organization is a reflection of your people, “No One Can Stop You But You,” is a powerful presentation that will connect with each individual and packed with powerful insights on how to build healthy confidence, become a peak performer, dominating your current role, eliminating all excuses and point the finger where it should be, at yourself.

REGISTER NOW for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LAST CHANCE to Get FIVE tickets in our iPad Mini Drawing!

Posted: December 29th, 2014 in Summit

If you’re planning to attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, then you’ll want to register now because everyone who registers by midnight, December 31, 2015, receives 5 tickets in our drawing for a mini iPad!

early bird

Click here to drawing details!

REGISTER TODAY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1-5, 2015, Las Vegas.

Don’t forget our Early-Bird Drawing for an iPad!

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 in Summit

If you’re planning to attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, then you’ll want to register now because everyone who registers in December receives FIVE TICKETS in our drawing for a mini iPad!

early bird

Click here to drawing details!

REGISTER TODAY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1-5, 2015, Las Vegas.

Dan Quiggle to Present “Excellence in Leadership” at the 2015 Summit

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 in Best Practice Presentations, Best Practice Presenters, Summit

Dan Quiggle is the opening keynote speaker for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. The Summit begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 right after our 2-day Pre-Summit courses (June 1 and 2, 2015).

Quiggle.Dan

Dan Quiggle

Dan Quiggle founded The Quiggle Group to promote and expand excellence in leadership. Beginning his professional career in the Office of Ronald Reagan, Dan learned leadership personally from the master himself – Ronald Reagan. Politics aside, President Reagan was one of the most gifted leaders our nation has seen in a generation and Dan was right there to see up close how President Reagan used and applied his natural skills to not only impact the lives of those around him, but lead the Free World! Dan has spent his career emulating and refining the skills he observed directly from President Reagan and is passionate about sharing his experiences with a new generation of leaders.

Having successfully started five companies in fields as varied as retail distribution and medical technology, Dan has the hands-on experience to authentically communicate with today’s top business leaders. As a graduate of UCLA, Dan currently serves as President and CEO of America’s Choice Title Company, recognized by Inc. Magazine as the 2nd fastest growing title agency in America. He is a company founder and serves on the Board of Directors. Dan’s professional accomplishments give him the experience and credibility needed to successfully support the leadership growth of any professional.

LAST CHANCE to Lock In Course Rates Before January Price Increase!

Posted: December 17th, 2014 in Courses

Are you planning to take TapRooT® training in 2015? We wanted to let you know course rates will increase January 1, but you can still reserve your seat in a 2015 public course at 2014 rates if you register before midnight, December 31, 2014.

This recent public course in Calgary, Canada is looking good!

This recent public course in Calgary, Canada is looking good!

TapRooT® is not only valued by accident investigators, but is also a valued skill for those who:

  • need to solve quality-related issues
  • have equipment downtime problems
  • experience failure to achieve optimal operational success

Take a look at the course list, and save up to $300 per course by locking in on 2014 rates. Register now:

http://www.taproot.com/courses

Career Development: Why Do You Do What You Do?

Posted: December 16th, 2014 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

Is not your resources that matter, it’s your resourcefulness. The decisions we make today about using (or not using) the skill of resourcefulness are shaping our destinies.

It’s Back! Early-bird Registration Drawing for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Posted: December 15th, 2014 in Summit

early birdYou can win a great prize by REGISTERING EARLY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

We are giving away an iPad Mini to the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit early bird prize drawing winner.  An iPad Mini has all the great features of an iPad offering millions of ways to learn, work and play.

To enter the drawing, simply submit your paid Summit registration to our office before the end of February, 2015.

Here’s how you can get the most tickets to win – register for the Summit:

by December 31 and you’ll get 3 tickets plus two BONUS TICKETS for a total of 5 tickets in the drawing.

by January 31 and you’ll get 2 tickets in the drawing.

by February 28 and you’ll get 1 ticket in the drawing.

The early registration drawing will be held at the Kickoff Session, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel (You must be present to win!). This drawing is in addition to the other prize giveaways we have planned for the 2015 Summit.

If you are planning to register for the Summit, don’t delay!  Increase your odds of winning an iPad Mini.

LEARN MORE about the Summit.

A Core Value for Leadership

Posted: December 10th, 2014 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

We’ve written about determining and living your core values so we thought you may be interested in this article along the same theme.

This article was submitted by “Captain George” J. Burk, a Vietnam veteran, plane crash & burn survivor and motivational speaker. Visit his website at www.georgeburk.com or let him know what you think at: gburk@georgeburk.com

Humility: Advantage for leaders originates from this unforeseen core value

Humility: “the absence of any feelings of being better than others; freedom from pride and arrogance; lack of false pride.”

It seems we live in a time where authoritarian power is questioned from the classroom to the boardroom and many places in-between, research seems conclusive—humility is a dramatically and more effective way to lead.

A study from the University of Washington Foster School of Business shows that humble people tend to make the most effective leaders(yep, that right, the most) and are more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings. This is not a revelation to me because of some of the leaders I’ve worked for and was privileged to know. This reinforces my belief that there’s no room in the classroom or boardroom, onboard ship or wherever leadership is present, for the self-absorbed, over-indulgent, narcissist, know-it-all, loud mouth blowhard. Yes, I’ve known a few of them! The study found that employees who rated their leaders as humble said they felt more engaged and were less likely to quit. They also indicated they were more committed to a leader’s vision and trust them more and more receptive to the leaders’ ideas.

“If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him how much you know.” Dr. Kenneth Boa

The report called this “quieter leadership”—listening, being transparent, aware of their limitations and appreciating their staff strengths and contributions, is an effective way to engage and motivate employees. It’s hardly a secret that leaders are hired based in their specific skills and experience, but often fired based on their personality. A leader’s arrogance, narcissism and a belief that by any means necessary and however unscrupulous it may be, is justification to achieve power or success. Our country is replete with business owners, political and military leaders who were lionized by various publications and media as if their apparent over confidence was a good benchmark of paranormal abilities, super intelligence, infallible strategic vision and wonderful speech patterns and oratory skills. Yet, to a person, those leaders were credited as the cause their organizations and careers collapsed. Many tears ago, I learned that if leaders and others, regardless of their position or a status, find the need to continuously tell people they are transparent, aware of their limitations and so on, really aren’t that way at all. They merely parrot those values as a way to convince others and create an artificial perception of who they want others to believe they are. It’s a false narrative.

There are examples that suggests that there’s an inherent power in humility—for various reasons people associate humility with weakness and an inability or unwillingness to stand up for ourselves. However, the same research mentioned above, other studies…and my own observations…shows humility has “zilch” to do with weakness because it requires substantial inner strength i.e. “guts”…an a strong belief in self that not only welcomes feedback and constructive criticism but knows it’s one of the fundamental ways to grow. The ability and will to self-reflect and see our limitations along with our strengths, is essential to reap the benefits of humility.

“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.” Psalm 25:9

How to spot humility.

Like it or not, those around us can see our humility, or lack of it, far better than we can see it. Here are a few scenarios to consider when we evaluate our humility or the humility of others.

When they are celebrated. Are they (and us), boastful and take all the credit or conscious of the people and events that created the success? Deflect praise? Accept responsibility when the excrement hits the rotor blades?

“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” Thomas Merton

When they are criticized. Are they (and us) self-confident enough to accept feedback and learn from it while they (and us) honor themselves, or do they resist, defend their positions and rationale and react, often negatively?

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:12

When they are in competition. Respect their opponents, and see the opportunity to interact with them as a valuable teachable moment from which to grow or…are they (still) ruthless, disrespectful, loud and boorish?

When in a momentary or sustained position of increased strength or weakness? Are they respectful to those lower in the hierarchy and to those above them without the belief or attitude that either action somehow takes something from them?

In the above scenarios (and perhaps others) leader(s) will be prompted or even provoked to reveal their true level of humility when asked specific questions in various ways. One observation: how comfortable is the leader and how comfortable are you (us) with power in yourself and with others?

Leaders and people in general grow and mature in relationships with both sides of the humility coin—having it and not having it and are best illustrated in how and when they conduct themselves in response to it. A person’s true humility is best seen by a relaxed emotional attitude in relation to power, while arrogance and self-absorption betray a deep-seated immaturity, lack of self-confidence and self-awareness and awkwardness in the face of it. Humility allows us to objectively self-reflect and clearly see our limitations and our strengths and is vital to reap the benefits of humility. Humility is not a sign of weakness, oh contraire, but is an indicator of emotional strength because it demands an inner strength to accept feedback and criticisms. Humility is one of the most important core values we need so we can continue to grow as leaders and human beings.

John Ruskin said, “I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I don’t mean by humility to doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibility merciful.”

I’ve known and know those I consider great leaders. They come in all genders, shapes, sizes, colors and ranks. I observe(d) how they respond(ed) to stress, professional and personal challenges, disappointments and loss and their successes, of which there were many. My conclusions: they live (lived) a strong and humble center of gravity and are (were) seen as more honest, trustworthy and quite capable. They also had a deep sense of their own spirituality. I learned from their thoughts, words and deeds they believed they were not alone in their walk through this life—they always sought to do the right thing(s). How do I know this? On a many occasions, especially after I was burned and injured in the plane crash in 1970, I and my family were the recipients of their humble, gracious, ethical and moral leadership, care and unseen humility. Without it, I believe my life and that of my wife and three young children would have taken a different and darker path. They gave us hope when I had none and all seemed lost!

Humility is a great anti-self focus and it allows leaders (and us) to develop a deeper perspective in their (and our)relationships with others. They’re not surprised or often fooled by the surface and can see behind the veil individuals create. They do not suffer fools wisely.

So, the takeaway from this: humility is inherent, and I believe, a learned treasure and core value that everyone can receive if and only if, they choose to take the journey into the true heart of who they really are.

I’ve often heard a phrase that captures humility: “A pseudo leader always leaves you with a feeling of their greatness, while an authentic and humble leader and person always leaves you with a feeling of your greatness.” My mother, Willa Catherine Burk epitomized that kind of leader and mother. She constantly filled me with positive affirmations; she always made me feel my greatness. I miss her…a lot!

Ever since my plane crash and all that occurred since that day, I’ve often ask myself, “Who are you really?” Where are you going? How will you get there? Who will be on your team?” Perhaps you’ve asked yourself similar questions, too.

“Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.” Lyrics from a Willie Nelson song.
His words, not mine!

Risk Assessments: Move Beyond Behavior Based Safety

Posted: December 9th, 2014 in Courses, Performance Improvement

Risk Assessments are necessary in all safety processes, particularly to move programs beyond Behavior Based Safety (BBS).

At least qualitative Risk Assessments (RA) need to be included during any safety-related discussions or interactions, conversations, and meetings. RA are needed every time any safety-related decision needs to be made; and therefore, to move safety programs beyond traditional BBS principles and practices.

RA in safety processes, including BBS – type programs, improve decision-making by making them less subjective, emotional and biased. Safety decision-making needs to be based on the comparative risk levels of the options under consideration. Any chosen safety decision needs to be the option for which the likelihood and quantum of benefit and gain outweighs the likelihood and quantum of loss and harm more than for any other option.

Which option provides the best chance of gain and benefit at both personal and corporate levels?

One such illustrative example is related to un-demonizing the term “shortcut”.

The original, best definition of a shortcut is very simple, positive and with no emotive undertones:

“a smarter, better way of doing a job”

or

“the method, procedure that best reduces the time / $ / energy needed to achieve business objectives.”

Can a shortcut ever be an appropriate, lower risk and authorized job method? And how?

In any safety discussions between managers, supervisors and workers, this definition can help clarify the troublesome distinction between “finding a shortcut,” and “taking a shortcut without an authorized risk assessment.” Finding is undeniably “smart.” Taking without RA is patently “dumb.”

Issues of workplace complexity and relationships between managers, supervisors and workers need to be addressed to be able to move safety programs and cultures beyond BBS principles and practices. Workplace relationships are based on trust, respect, credibility, encouragement, and valued appreciation of jointly-found solutions of challenges and issues. RA provides processes needed in relationship-based safety RBS.

Positive relationships include establishing and holding common beliefs that we want everyone to come to work with their brains as well as their brawn, (and hopefully their hearts), because we all recognize that it is in everyone’s interest for everyone to be always challenged to find smarter better ways of doing our jobs. That is what business is about! It is the never-ending goal of finding smarter, more efficient, more effective, more productive and safer (lower risk) ways of doing our work.

However, too often we tell our people we need and want their “shortcut” ideas for more efficiency and productivity, but as soon as they do give them we jump on them and label their suggestions with negative emotive labels such as “violations” or “breaches” of existing rules and describe them in meaningless, undefined terms such as “unsafe acts” or “at-risk behaviors”. Use of these negative, emotion-loaded terms actually discourages searching for the deep underlying root causes of an apparently stupid, careless, and lazy “violation.”

It is more appropriate to use non-emotive descriptors such as “variations,” “adaptations,” “departures,” or very simply “work-arounds.”

All day-to-day safety meetings, discussions, and personal risk taking behavioral choices involve BBS questions such as:

  • Which procedure or method is safer (lower risk) than another?
  • Which is the safer tool, plant, equipment for this job?
  • Which risk control option is better than the others?
  • Which route should be taken?
  • Which control panel design is less error-provoking than the other?
  • Which roster is best for managing fatigue?
  • What is the appropriate time that we need to allocate to this incident investigation?
  • What to say and how to interact / converse with my peers, supervisors and managers?

These real examples of safety optioneering processes make a compelling argument for doing at least a qualitative (but preferably a Semi – Quantitative) Risk Assessment.

In fact, Risk Assessments will be recognized as definitely needed every time any safety-related decision needs to be made and therefore can move safety programs beyond traditional BBS principles and practices often confused and undermined by subjective beliefs, biases and perceptions.

How can you improve your confidence in the accuracy, reliability, consistency of Risk Assessments?

Learn Best Practices in the training courses being offered as below.

Houston, Texas
May 20-21, (Weds-Thurs)

To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1505HOUS20.html

Calgary, Canada
May 27-28, (Wed-Thurs)
To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1505CALG27.html

Las Vegas, Nevada
June 1-2 (Mon-Tues before the TapRooT® Summit)
To register: http://www.taproot.com/store/2-Day-Risk-Management-Training-1506LASV01-RISKMGMT.html

IN-HOUSE Courses are also available. Contact us for a quote.

Jim WhitWhiting.Jiming, an international expert in risk management and root cause analysis will be conducting the courses detailed above. The courses are the updated versions of a highly successful course that he has been offering for a number of years to over 200 attendees at Pre-Summit courses at past TapRooT® Summits. Due to increasing requests for more offerings of the course, the TapRooT® folks and Jim have decided to offer three RAMBP PUBLIC Courses in North America in 2015.

Jim was on Committees developing the Risk Management Standard AS/ISO 31000 which has been adopted word for word by US standard bodies as ANSI Z690.2 and Canadian bodies as CAN/CSA/ISO 31000. He has developed Risk Assessment unique tools and processes for maximizing the confidence of the results of assessments need to make all safety-related decision-making such as – what is a tolerable risk ?

Remembering An Accident: The Halifax Explosion

Posted: December 6th, 2014 in Accidents

On December 6, 1917, a ship traveling to France that carried approximately 9,000 tons of wartime explosives caught fire after a collision in the Halifax Harbour. The fire quickly ignited the explosives. Approximately 1,800 were killed and 9,000 were injured by the fire, debris and collapsed buildings.

Here is an article on History.com: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-great-halifax-explosion

And following is a video of the footage after the explosion, showing devastation and relief effort. 

We’ve all read the headlines about catastrophic events. Don’t let an accident of this magnitude devastate your city.  Learn root cause analysis techniques to investigate near-misses, and take proactive steps to avoid a major disaster. (Click here to find out more about TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training.)

What is the Root Cause of Happiness?

Posted: November 21st, 2014 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

What do you think is the root cause of happiness?

Wealth?

Fame?

Good looks?

Intelligence?

Power?

happyWell, many people think that any or all of the above are root causes of happiness, but research has indicated that those things really don’t provide a long-lasting feeling of contentment. In fact, one of the most important things you can possess to ensure a lifetime of happiness is a character trait that anyone can develop: gratefulness.

Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about what we are thankful for and enjoy the bonus of feeling happier.

What, exactly, does an attitude of gratitude do for our well-being that contributes to life-long happiness? So much!

Here are some of the benefits of practicing gratefulness:

  • reduced risk of heart disease and cancer;
  • a stronger immune system;
  • increased productivity;
  • improved decision making;
  • increased achievements;
  • better interpersonal relationships;
  • a better self-image;
  • more respect from others;
  • less stress;
  • reduced feelings of jealousy;
  • happier memories (research has indicated gratefulness helps us remember the good stuff in life and minimize the negative);
  • a feeling of well-being;
  • stronger resilience;
  • more energy;
  • better sleep; and
  • a longer life.

Want some ideas on how to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness? The University of California, Berkeley published 10 great tips by Robert Emmons including using visual reminders; watching your language; and thinking outside the box by seeking new things to be grateful for.

Here’s another tip: grateful people mindfully use social media in a positive way. So post an inspirational quote or this article on your social media, and you will not only grow in your practice of gratefulness but encourage others to take this meaningful path as well.

Remembering An Accident: San Juanico Disaster

Posted: November 19th, 2014 in Accidents

On November 19, 1984, a series of explosions caused one of the deadliest industrial accidents in the history of the world.  The explosions occurred at a storage and distribution facility for liquified petroleum gas belonging to Petroleos Mexicanos. It is believed that the explosion started with a gas leak which caused a plume that grew large enough to be transported by the wind and reach a flare pit where it ignited.

The explosions and fires demolished most of the town of San Juan Ixhuatepec, and it is estimated that up to 600 people died and 5,000 – 7,000 people suffered severe injuries. The fire created such an inferno that most corpses were reduced to ashes, making it hard to determine who perished.

SanJuanico20

Learn more about the disaster.

When something catastrophic happens, companies often discover a series of errors and process flaws that were present all along. Advanced root cause analysis skills can help you uncover these error and flaws.  Visit our training page to find a course near you:

http://www.taproot.com/courses

 

 

Career Development: Five Quick Ways to Become a Better Speaker

Posted: October 28th, 2014 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

Surveys about fear have revealed that we fear public speaking more than death. That’s why there is a joke that goes something like, “If you are at a funeral, it’s better to be in the coffin than the one delivering the eulogy.”

However, there are many things we can learn about public speaking from the masters. Even better, there are many very simple techniques that will captivate the audience every single time.

Take, for example, the pause:

Pause for two or three seconds and the audience assumes you lost your place. Pause for five seconds and the audience begins to think the pause is intentional… and starts wondering why.

Pause for ten seconds and even the people who were busy tweeting can’t resist glancing up.

These days, if you can get someone to look up from his or her phone during your presentation, you’ve pretty much won at public speaking.

Learn four more ways to be a better speaker from Jeff Haden:

5 Ways to Become a Better Speaker Overnight

How Do We Stop the Ebola Blame Game?

Posted: October 27th, 2014 in Accidents, Medical/Healthcare

The media debate about Ebola is subtly shifting from how to stop the spread of this horrific disease to finger pointing. How do we stop the blame game?

A recent analysis & opinion column (Reuters.com), “Why Finger Pointing about Ebola Makes Americans Less Safe,” suggests:

With Ebola, root cause analysis is going to be key to avoid mistakes in the future, but this will require a culture where it is safe to admit to errors.

Read the opinion here:

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/10/27/why-finger-pointing-about-ebola-makes-americans-less-safe/

And let us know what you think by commenting below. How can the healthcare community create a culture where workers are not afraid to self-report mistakes? Do you think root cause analysis is key to stopping Ebola?

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