Category: Summit

What is the burden of unsolved problems at your company?

May 4th, 2015 by

Do you have incidents that happen over and over again?

Do you have repeat equipment failures?

Does your hospital have similar sentinel events that aren’t solved by your root cause analysis?

How much are these repetitive problems costing your company?

Stop making excuses and try something NEW that can help you stop repetitive problems…

IDEA #1: Attend at TapRooT® Course to stop repeat incidents.

Choose from the:

These courses are guarantee to help you find root causes that you previously would have overlooked and develop corrective actions that both you and your management agree are more effective.

IDEA #2: Attend the Creative Corrective Actions Course.

Hurry, this course is only offered on June 1-2, prior to the TapRooT® Summit. If your creativity for solving problems is getting stale, this is the course you need to attend.

IDEA #3:: Attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas on June 3-5.

The Summit is a proven place to network and learn valuable best practices that can help you solve your toughest problems. Each Summit is unique, so you don’t want to miss one. And this year’s Summit is rapidly approaching. Register today at:

The Summit You Can’t Afford to Miss

April 30th, 2015 by

Do you need to:

  • Stop accidents
  • Stop human error
  • Prevent fatalities
  • Prevent equipment failures
  • Stop sentinel events
  • Prevent series injuries
  • Stop waste
  • Prevent cost overruns
  • Understand and minimize risk

Then you can’t afford to miss the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit and the Pre-Summit training.

Get the details and download the brochure at:

Don’t wait! There’s still time to register. The Summit and Pre-Summit training are on June 1-5. 

Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis Sessions Offered Exclusively June 3-5, 2015 in Las Vegas

April 29th, 2015 by

Benna interviews Ken Reed, track leader for the 3-day Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis track at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Attend this track for a deeper understanding of investigation and root cause analysis.

REGISTER for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Do You Need New Improvement Ideas?

April 29th, 2015 by

Improving usually entails one of two things:

  • Don’t something you already do better.
  • Doing something new that is better than what you have done previously. 

But where can you learn new best practices that you haven’t tried before?

The 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit being held in Las Vegas on June 1-5.

Get more information at:


April 28th, 2015 by

Screen Shot 2015 04 24 at 3 45 24 PM

Because of the low oil prices, the registration for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit by people in the oil and gas industry is down.

As a business owner, I can understand that when your revenues shrink, you need to cut costs. However, as a smart business owner, I know that some expenditures are BUSINESS CRITICAL. If you cut these expenses you aren’t “cutting fat”, you are cutting “meat and bone” and, as a result, future performance will suffer.

The 2015 TapRooT® Summit should be on your list of BUSINESS CRITICAL expenditures that should NOT be cut unless you plan to file for bankruptcy and go out of business. Let me explain why …

First, managers may get the impression that conferences, especially those in Las Vegas, are a boondoggle. Conference attendees are just going for a good time. This IS NOT TRUE with the TapRooT® Summit.

People work hard at the TapRooT® Summit to learn valuable best practices and new ideas for improving performance that they will come back to work and implement. Participants arrive early and stay late to have additional discussions with new people they meet. Attendees make detailed plans of what they are going to do when they get back to work. 

Of course, the Summit is NOT all work and no play. We want you to have a good time. And we think that adds to the learning experience. But I think we do a much better job than any other conference I’ve attended at getting people involved in the learning process.

In 1993 I started planning the first the Summit because there was not a place for professionals interested in practical performance improvement and root cause analysis to get together, network, discuss the latest practical improvements and research, and get motivated to return to the fight to change performance for the better. I was not looking to create a conference full of fluff or the same old thing. Rather, I wanted the conference to push the state-of-the-art and promote all of our best users to make themselves even better. That same theme is the basis for the TapRooT® Summit that we are holding in June.

In addition, the purpose of the Summit is not to make money for System Improvements. At best, we break even. Often, we eat a loss. But we think it is worthwhile for our instructors (who are required to attend) and our users (who we hope will attend). The fee involved helps defray the cost of holding the Summit (which you might guess is considerable).

By why should people from the oil industry attend the 2015 TapRooT® Summit?

Because the oil industry just can’t afford another tragic accident. Even in these times of low oil prices, the industry needs to be redoubling their efforts to improve safety and environmental performance. And that’s where the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit comes in. 

Look at the talks and workshops in all the track at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit (CLICK HERE). Perhaps you should be working to improve performance by learning from some of these sessions:

  • Improving your corrective actions
  • Improving your root cause analysis and grading your investigation reports
  • Proactively improving equipment reliability
  • Developing proactive performance metrics to spot problems before accidents happen
  • How to stop “normalization of deviation”
  • How to give good feedback to employees by praising character rather than results
  • How to track errors and defects/waste on a daily basis
  • How to conduct a root cause analysis of multiple similar events
  • Find the gaps in your performance improvement program

That’s just a sample of what you could be learning about if you attend this BUSINESS CRITICAL meeting.

But learning IS NOT all that happens at the Summit. The Summit is also about MOTIVATION.

When your company is suffering and people are being laid off, it’s easy to lose your motivation and sink into despair (maybe even desperation). But 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit will send people back to work INSPIRED to make improvement happen even in difficult times.

What might inspire them? Try these Keynote Speakers:


  • Dan Quiggle, an aid to President Reagan, will talk about the lessons he learned about leadership from President Ronald Reagan. I don’t care what your politics are, his stories will provide you with motivation to go back to work and make change happen.
  • Walter Bond, and NBA star and business owner, will inspire you with a message about self-motivation to become the best.
  • Dr. Beverly Chiodo, voted the best speaker we have ever had at the Summit and known as the “Doctor of Encouragement”, will share her inspiring stories about the right way to provide feedback to inspire people to do the right thing for the right reason.
  • Alan Smith and Mhorvan Sherret, both retired senior detectives from Scotland who worked accidents in the North Sea, will discuss responding to major accidents. You will once again be inspired by their stories to stop accidents BEFORE they can happen.


  • Captain Richard Phillips, the real life inspiration for the movie Captain Phillips (staring Tom Hanks), will share his real life experience. You think you are going through hard times? Think again.
If critical lessons learned, discovering gaps in your current programs, and getting motivated to make performance improvement happen isn’t enough to make this a BUSINESS CRITICAL meeting, them perhaps the knowledge you could gain at one of the 15 Pre-Summit Courses is. And when you attend the Summit and a Pre-Summit Course, you get $200 off the combined price (so you save money too!).
I hope that this short list of reasons that you MUST ATTEND the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit provides you with the ammunition you need to go to your senior management TODAY, show them what they will be missing if you do not attend, and get permission to participate in this BUSINESS CRITICAL MEETING.
REGISTER TODAY and get your travel plans made. You won’t be sorry that you made the effort and got special permission to be there because your efforts will:
  • PREVENT INJURIES, and perhaps

Need New Ways to Fix Old Problems? Sign up for the 2-Day Creative Corrective Actions Course!

April 27th, 2015 by


This 2-Day Creative Corrective Actions course is a popular interactive and practical workshop that provides participants with a process and tools to uncover innovative and creative solutions and discover opportunities that will lead to breakthrough thinking. Follow this process for increasing creativity in process improvement, strategic thinking, or product design. Included in this workshop is Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats™. Quit solving problems with the same thinking that created them, this course will take you outside the box and around the corner to a place where new ideas are designed.


Michele Lindsay

This course is taught by Michele Lindsay, President, of P2 – Performance Potential Inc. Toronto, Ontario Canada. Michele is the type of leader that inspires others to design a better outcome and gives them the tools they need to go back to their facilities and create an exciting future. She has been working in the field of investigations and root cause analysis for over 20 years and is passionate about helping organizations and individuals access their potential.

A long time out of the box thinker and a focus on high performance has led Michele down a unique career path not only as a technical specialist in left brained, highly analytic root cause analysis, but uses her right brained creativity and connection to others to help her optimize performance with individuals, teams and organizations.

Michele has contributed to the Wiley Publication – Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering on the topic of Leadership; Creating Conditions to Get Beyond Compliance to High Performance.   As a TapRooT® instructor for 1000s of learners, and a facilitator or reviewer in close to 100 significant investigations, her extensive background focuses not only on the process and system improvements but engaging  people to take performance to the next level.

Michele has developed this 2-day course on innovation and creative thinking intended to move teams to new solutions to old problems.  Join her in the Summit course “Creative Corrective Actions” to take these tools and skills back to your facility.

Course Outline

  • Identify and remove roadblocks to Creativity & Innovation
  • We are not all born creative – understanding how to get there
  • Describe and practice the Innovation process, which includes:
    • Focus – Define the problem or opportunity and bring it into focus
    • Uncover Alternatives – New ways to solve old problems, open the creativity tool box to help build solutions and NEW ideas.
    • Narrow your choices – Effectively and efficiently make decisions in teams that break down walls and create team collaboration including the using the globally renowned Six Thinking Hats™ method.
  • Create alignment in decision making
  • Apply the process and tools to a current business problem or opportunity
  • Lay the groundwork for successful implementation
  • Build a climate of innovation

This is the last chance to register for this course this year!

REGISTER for this course and the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit (June 1-5, 2015).

REGISTER for this 2-day course only (June 1-2, 2015).

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: How Many People Will Die Waiting for Management to Implement an Effective Improvement Program?

April 27th, 2015 by


You see the results of ineffective improvement programs in the headlines …

Ten Die in Refinery Explosion

Four Asphyxiated in Confined Space Accident

Fire Kills There Workers

Forklift Accident Kills Teenage Worker

Scaffold Collapse Kills Two Construction Workers

Trench Collapse Kills Father of Three

Welder Killed When Tank Explodes

Eleven Killed in Offshore Platform Explosion

Mine Accident Kills 13

Perhaps you think these were just bad days. That accidents just happen. The truth is that most fatalities are the result of bad programs. They were accidents waiting to happen. If management had effective reactive and proactive improvement programs, these accidents, and others ones like them, would not have had to happen.


  • Why didn’t management push for better safety improvement?
  • Why wasn’t improving their improvement program one of their highest (or their highest) priority? 
  • How many people have to die to get management’s attention and make them get excited about investing in effective improvement?

The fatalities continue while we wait for the answer.

If YOU are excited about improving your improvement program and PREVENTING FATALITIES, I have a few ideas for you …

  1. Take your senior manager on a hazard walk around. Go to one or two places in your plant and challenge the manager to spot all the hazards (sources of energy that could cause a fatality). Did they miss height, lack of breathable air, moving equipment, or other sources that you have seen? Next, take several sources of energy and ask what are the safeguards that keep a fatal accident from happening. Then ask for each safeguard, when was the last time that the manager heard of an audit of the effectiveness of that safeguard? When was the last time the manager checked the effectiveness of that safeguard? Do this once a week and the manager will start thinking hazards, safeguards, and audits of safeguards effectiveness.
  2. Take your manager to the 2015 TapRooT® Summit. They will network with the leaders in performance improvement that attend the Summit and they can benchmark their improvement efforts against others. They will probably find that they have some good practices to share. But they will also discover some gaps in their programs that need improvement and best practices to make that improvement occur.
  3. Have on-site training for your management team. Consider the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course. Or the Proactive Use of TapRooT® Course. One company even had all their Senior Project Managers (who manage construction programs over $500 million) attend the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training. One of these senior managers pulled me aside to tell me that it was the most valuable management training he had ever had!

Don’t just sit around waiting for management to get excited about improvement after major accident. Prevent the accident. Get them excited about preventing fatalities! 

Grading Your Investigations – Summit Best Practice Session 2 at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas

April 23rd, 2015 by

Mark Paradies is organizing the “Grading Your Investigations” session at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

At this session participants will use an Excel spreadsheet (download your copy below) to grade a typical incident investigation from your facility.

All participants attending this session are asked to bring an investigation report from your facility and the Excel spreadsheet available below preloaded onto a device so that you can participate in the exercise that will teach attendees to grade their company’s investigations using the spreadsheet.


2015 Global TapRooT® Summit Prizes Announced!

April 17th, 2015 by

When you attend the Summit, you NOT ONLY

but ALSO have a chance to win amazing prizes just for showing up. Check out these awesome prizes we have waiting for our attendees:

ipad mini

Mini iPad





apple watch

Apple Watch


amazon card

Amazon Gift Cards

REGISTER TODAY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

LEARN MORE about the Summit!

How Good is the TapRooT® Summit?

April 15th, 2015 by

I was e-mailing with a TapRooT® User today and this is part of what they had to say about the Summit …

“… they are the best conferences that I have been to in the over 40 years of my career!!!”

See what he was talking about at:

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Thrills, Eat & Drink, Shows, Relax

April 15th, 2015 by

We’ve been featuring some fun things we like to do in Las Vegas, and so far have a dozen suggestions:


Exotics Racing

Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil


Million Dollar Quartet

The Jersey Boys

Bellagio Fountains

Eat, Drink & Relax

The LINQ Promenade

Guy Fieri’s Kitchen & Bar on the LINQ

Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas

O’Sheas on the LINQ

Capo’s Speakeasy – Steakhouse


Mob Museum


Fashion Show Mall

What are your favorite things to do in Vegas? Leave your comments below and share with other attendees, and don’t forget to join us for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.



Click here to learn about the Reception we have planned at Margaritaville!


Click here for info about the host hotel

Top 10 Improvement Goals for 2015/2016

April 14th, 2015 by

Screen Shot 2015 04 12 at 6 00 32 AMAntoine de Saint-Exupery

Usually you think about goals when you are setting budgets or maybe at the start of the year. But now that we are well into the year (the first quarter is complete), it might be time to review your goals and your progress on them for the year (and into next year).

Let’s start with the Top 10 Goals that would be applicable to most TapRooT® Users. Take a moment to review them, see if any of them are on your list, and reflect on how you are doing on achieving them.

Then, once you have contemplated your goals, I have a suggestion for you to consider for each goal.

So let’s get started. Here are the Top 10 Goals.


1. Improve safety to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries at our facilities. (If you are at a hospital, you might modify this goal to be: “Improve patient safety to eliminate sentinel events.” If you are responsible for equipment reliability you could say: “Improve equipment reliability to eliminate unexpected key equipment downtime.” If you are responsible for quality, you might say: “Improve quality before a major quality issue impacts a customer.”)

2. Improve management participation in improvement efforts.

3. Improve employee participation in improvement initiatives.

4. Motivate people to exhibit positive behaviors that result in success at work and at home.

5. Learn proven best practices from industry leaders that you can apply to your improvement initiatives to make them more effective.

6. Improve corrective actions so that problems never repeat once they are effectively investigated and fixes are implemented.

7. Learn how to stop “normalization of deviance” to ensure safety policies are effectively applied.

8. Develop proactive performance measures to better understand trends in safety, equipment reliability, and production performance.

9. Become a better TapRooT® User to continuously improve your root cause analysis initiatives.

10. Identify the gaps in improvement initiatives and find ways to turn those gaps into strengths in the future.

These top ten goals are rather safety oriented, but if you are responsible for equipment reliability, quality, production, patient safety, you can modify the goals with your improvement efforts in mind and the “safety” list can be converted into a patient safety list, an equipment reliability list, or a production efficiency list.

Now, see how many of these goals match those goals on your top 10 list…

Do you have some goals that you need to add to your list?

How are you doing this year meeting your goals?

Have you made enough progress in the first quarter so that you feel confident
that by the end of the year you will have accomplished all of these goals?

TapRooT® Training and the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit can help you achieve all 10 of these goals. How? Read on …

GOAL 1.  Improve safety to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries at our facilities. (If you are at a hospital, you might modify this goal to be: “Improve patient safety to eliminate sentinel events.” If you are responsible for equipment reliability you could say: “Improve equipment reliability to eliminate unexpected key equipment downtime.” If you are responsible for quality, you might say: “Improve quality before a major quality issue impacts a customer.”)

Did you know that the best way to eliminate a problem is to become proactive in fixing problems? That means you must identify problems and fix them (using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis) BEFORE an accident, sentinel event, equipment failure, quality issue, or production failure occurs.

How are you becoming more proactive? Here are several suggestions…

Proactive Improvement Suggestions

  • SAFETY: Did you know that there is a “Proactive Use of TapRooT®” Course? It was developed to teach people how to become more proactive by using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to find and fix the causes of problems before major accidents happen. If you are trying to be more proactive, this just might be the course for you. WARNING: There is only one public “Proactive Use of TapRooT®” Course scheduled for this year. It is on June 1-2 in Las Vegas during our PreSummit.
  • EQUIPMENT RELIABILITY: If you are interested in improving equipment reliability by the use of effective troubleshooting and root cause analysis tools AND you would like to use those tools proactively, I have a suggestion. First, if you haven’t already attended an Equifactor® Course, sign up for the one on June 1-2 in Las Vegas. These techniques come highly recommended and are based on a combination of the work done by equipment reliability expert Heinz Bloch and root cause analysis expert Mark Paradies. Then you can stay for the “Equipment Reliability Improvement and Troubleshooting” Track at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit where you will meet Heinz Bloch and Mark Paradies and hear the latest information about improving equipment performance.
  • PATIENT SAFETY: Improving patient safety has been a focus of the Global TapRooT® Summit since the late 1990s. This year we’ve combined a pre-Summit 2-Day “TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Sentinel Events & Healthcare Quality Improvement” Course with the “Improving Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety” Track at the Summit so that those who aren’t familiar with TapRooT® can learn the techniques and discover how to apply them proactively to improve patient safety.
  • QUALITY/OPERATIONS: If you would like to apply TapRooT® to improve quality or add it to your Lean/Six Sigma Program, then you should attend the pre-Summit TapRooT® Quality/Six Sigma/Lean Advanced Root Cause Analysis Training. Then attend the “Process Quality and Corrective Action Program” Track at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. Lean/Six Sigma improvement efforts can be made even more effective (and more proactive) when effective root cause analysis (TapRooT®) is embedded into the program.
    • CLICK HERE to register for both the course and the track.

GOAL 2: Improve management participation in improvement efforts.  

Is your management involved in your improvement efforts as much as they should be? Many say that a lack of management support is one of the major problems they have when trying to improve performance.

One thing that improvement managers must realize is that it IS NOT management’s job to stay excited about an improvement program. It is the improvement program manager’s job to keep management excited and to let them know if they fail to show support for the improvement effort.

This is especially true because of the recent downturns in the oil and mining industries. Several people have told me that travel and training bans enacted because budget cutting efforts are devastating their efforts to benchmark improvements with others and learn new best practices to keep their program moving forward. When these “global bans” get in the way of making improvement progress happen, improvement managers have to point the problem out to management and let them know that this is sending a clear message that the improvement effort is clearly NOT a top priority and clearly falls behind profitability on the list of things management cares about.

Remind your managers that cutting back on improvement is actually expensive because of the costs of poor quality, accidents, equipment failures, and production upsets.

GOAL 3: Improve employee participation in improvement initiatives.

If your employees don’t seem to be involved in improvement efforts, maybe it is because you haven’t provided the opportunity.

Have you trained your employees to use advanced root cause analysis to solve problems and to use the same tools proactively?

If you need to get your employees fully committed to improving, give them the tools they need. Have an on-site TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course. Call us at 865-539-2139 or CLICK HERE to request more information about an on-site course.

GOAL 4: Motivate people to exhibit positive behaviors that result in success at work and at home.  

Motivating people is a difficult topic. Perhaps the best advice I’ve ever heard about motivating employees was a talk I heard from Dr. Beverly Chiodo. That’s why for the last decade I’ve had her speak at the Global TapRooT® Summit. And she is speaking again this year in two sessions. The first is the opening keynote talk on Thursday. Her talk is titled “Character Driven Success” and it is sure to make an impact on your life.

She will speak again on Thursday afternoon in a breakout session. Her talk for this session – Praising the 49 Character Traits – will give you practical ideas for changing behavior by properly praising your employees.

If behavior is important to your improvement efforts, don’t miss these two talks. Register for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit today.

GOAL 5: Learn proven best practices from industry leaders that can apply to improvement initiatives to make them more effective.  

How do you learn about new best practices from inside and outside your industry? Inside and outside your profession?

Two standard methods are:

  1. Industry/professional trade magazines.
  2. Industry/professional conferences.

There are some excellent conferences to consider in any industry/profession.

What I’ve found is that even at the best of these conferences, there tend to be industry or professional silos. For example:

  • Oil industry folks tend to learn best practices from the oil industry,
  • Nuclear industry folks learn from the nuclear industry
  • Aviation … aviation
  • Heathcare … healthcare
  • Manufacturing … manufacturing
  • Quality folks tend to meet and share best practices with quality folks,
  • Equipment reliability … equipment reliability
  • Safety … safety

And to make matters worse, we then tend to look inside our own geographic area/culture/language. US people attend conferences in North America. Europeans … Europe. Australians … Australia.

That’s why when we created the TapRooT® Summit we wanted to do something very different. We wanted to cross geographic, industrial, and professional boundaries.

And we wanted to create an environment where benchmarking and sharing experience is fun.

The feedback that we get after every Global TapRooT® Summit is that we’ve done a very good job of that.

For example, a process safety person from a chemical plant learns best practices from a licensing engineer in the nuclear industry. A healthcare quality improvement professional learns best practices from a flight safety professional. And a nuclear safety engineer learns things from an equipment reliability specialist from a foundry.

Not only do they learn, but they have a good time doing it!

That’s why I’ve had many TapRooT® Summit participants tell me that it is the BEST networking experience that they have ever experienced. Better than any industry conference that they go to.

Thus, if you haven’t yet met your goal of learning valuable best practices that you can implement to keep your improvement program fresh and progressing, you should consider attending the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. See all the track schedules at THIS LINK.

GOAL 6: Improve our corrective actions so that problems never repeat once they are effectively investigated and fixes are implemented.   

How is your CAPA program doing in preventing repeat incidents? If your goal is to improve, there are several ideas that I could suggest.

  1. Perform better root cause analysis. If you haven’t taken a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course, take one SOON! See the course schedule by clicking on your region at THIS LINK.
  2. If you already use TapRooT® and want to improve your use of the technique, attend a 5-Day TapRooT® Advance Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course. See the course details (which should convince you to attend) at this LINK.
  3. TapRooT® Users should also consider attending the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit where there are several tracks that may be of interest including the Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Best Practice Track, the Process Quality and Corrective Action Program Track, the Safety Improvement Track, and the Improving Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Track.
  4.  There is actually a pre-Summit course  – Creative Corrective Actions Course – that is targeted toward people that want to develop better, more effective, corrective actions. See the details by CLICKING HERE.

At least one of those four ideas should help you jumpstart efforts to reach your goals in 2015/2016.

GOAL 7: Learn how to stop “normalization of deviance” to ensure safety policies are effectively applied.   

Mark Paradies is presenting a session titled “How to STOP the normalization of deviance” at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas in the “Human Error Reduction & Behavior Change” Track. This particular talk is in Session 5. Be sure that you are there if you are interested in this topic and want to STOP the normalization of deviance.

GOAL 8: Develop proactive performance measures to better understand trends in safety, equipment reliability, and production performance.

This is another topic being covered at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. Final details of this session are not yet posted on the Summit site because the talks are still being developed. But you can be sure that new, interesting, useful information on proactive performance indicators will be presented and that you will develop indicators for your facility.

GOAL 9: Become a better TapRooT® User to continuously improve your root cause analysis initiatives.

You can start your journey to performance improvement by simply attending a 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course. But all TapRooT® Users know, this is just the start. Practice, coaching, and advanced training are part of the journey to becoming an expert root cause analysis investigator.

The 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training is designed to help you become a root cause analysis expert.

But what do you do to improve your skills after you have attended a 2-Day and 5-Day Course? There are several options.

First, every year we hold a Global Summit with Keynote Speakers and tracks to help you improve your performance improvement skills and learn the latest performance improvement best practices.

The 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit includes the following nine tracks:

  • Safety Improvement
  • Equipment Reliability & Troubleshooting
  • Human Error Reduction & Behavior Change
  • Improving Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety
  • Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis
  • Process Quality & Corrective Action Programs
  • TapRooT® Software
  • TapRooT® Certified Instructor
  • Special Topics

This is an excellent source of knowledge to improve your performance improvement skills. But beyond the knowledge you learn, you will also make great contacts – friends – across many industries and professional disciplines that can also help you expand your performance improvement network.

Second, before the Summit, we hold special advanced training for performance improvement experts to help them refresh and broaden their skills. At the 2015 pre-Summit, the following advanced courses will be offered that you can use to become a better root cause analysis expert:

That’s a great list of courses full of advanced knowledge to help you improve.

When and where are the pre-Summit Courses and the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit? The courses and Summit will be held in Las Vegas on June 1-5, 2015. Register now to make sure that you get your first choice for training.

GOAL 10. Identify the gaps in our improvement initiatives and find ways to turn those gaps into strengths in the future.

Every TapRooT® Session Track at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit includes a session focused on identifying the gaps in your performance improvement program and developing ideas to improve your improvement efforts to eliminate the gaps. So, if you are interested in eliminating the holes in your improvement program, attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit and make your improvement efforts sizzle with new best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from industry leaders.

That’s it. Ten goals and the ways that TapRooT® Training and the TapRooT® Summit can help you meet those goals.

Don’t waste 2015 and 2016 standing still. Get your performance improvement program moving at the speed of light by getting the training and networking that you need to accelerate your program and your career.

2-Day Hazard Recognition Course Includes Site Visit to Caterpillar

April 10th, 2015 by

Here is an exciting update on the 2-Day Hard Recognition Course that will be offered just prior to the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 and 2, 2015, Las Vegas, NV.

This course focuses on the tried and true methods of hazard recognition including at risk or unsafe behavior, legislation implications, and hazard identification & rectification. The instructor, Peter Berkholz over 30 year of mining and industrial experience. The course includes a site visit to the local Caterpillar Franchise on Day#2, where participants have the opportunity to put into practice the theory learned on Day#1 during a hazard identification exercise.

The course is run to allow participants to learn about different methods of Hazard identification (Day #1) and then apply the learnings through an actual on site hazard identification exercise (Day #2).


Check out the schedule below:

Day #1

What are hazards?

Why hazard identification is critical in the workplace.

Duty of care and legislative requirements

  1. Europe
  2. USA
  3. Australia

Hazard/barrier, safeguard model

Hazard identification and rectification

Hazard ID and Risk management tools.

  1. Europe
  2. USA
  3. Australia
  4. TapRooT®

Day #2


Site visit at the local Las Vegas Cashman CATERPILLAR Equipment outlet. Where we will inspect selected mobile CAT equipment using various hazard identification documents


Feedback on site visit and the use of Hazard ID tools.

REGISTER for this 2-Day Hazard Recognition Course.

LEARN MORE about the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Book in the TapRooT® Summit Host Hotel Now!

April 8th, 2015 by


The room block cut-off for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit host hotel, The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel, is one month from today. Make your reservation before May 8, 2015 to secure room block rate.

For more information, visit:


2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Container Park

April 7th, 2015 by

This column highlights some fun things to do to unwind in Vegas after a full day of learning and networking at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

There’s more to Vegas than “The Strip,” so today and the next couple of weeks we are highlighting some fun places to visit downtown. (Didn’t know The Strip was not considered downtown? Downtown has a completely different and unique vibe.  And we learned on our site visit that there’s actually a pretty big rivalry between downtown and The Strip!)

Downtown is very easy to get to — just grab a taxi at the Flamingo Las Vegas Resort taxi stand and you’ll be there in less than 20 minutes.  Cab fare is about $28 one-way, so get a small group together and split the fare for a low cost, no worry mode of transportation.

First up, we’d like to feature Container Park.  Located at 707 Fremont Street (Fremont & 7th), Container Park is a unique venue offering a variety of great options for food and drinks.

The entrance of Container Park.

A 40-foot-long mantis greets you at the entrance of Container Park.

The latest addition to downtown expansion and revitalization, Container Park is made up of 45 repurposed, different-sized shipping containers.  It also features 43 Xtreme Cubes, and the containers and cubes house the shops, restaurants and bars.


Inside Container Park.


A bird's eye view.

A bird’s eye view.


Lots of food, drinks and shops to choose from!

Lots of food, drinks and shops to choose from!

This open air shopping park located on historic Fremont Street also hosts live concerts, movies and a children’s park. So, if you brought the spouse and kids, you can enjoy a glass of wine in the open air, listen to live music, and watch the kids play on the treehouse and playground.


The Outdoor Pavilion hosts live music on summer nights.

We visited in February, and can’t wait to go back in June where things are sure to heat up in Vegas on summer nights.

LEARN MORE about the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.

REGISTER for the Summit today!


2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: O’Sheas on The LINQ

April 7th, 2015 by

We’ve been highlighting some fun things to do in this column during 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit Week (June 1 – 5, 2015, Las Vegas, NV). Today we are featuring an entertainment venue that is literally steps away from the Summit host hotel, The Flamingo Las Vegas.

O’Shea’s Casino and Pub never has a dull moment. On our site visit, a local desribed it as “Not your father’s Oshea’s, more like your son’s.” Located in the former Imperial Palace, O’Shea’s stays true to their Irish theme with an exciting and rambunctious atmosphere.


O'Sheas on the LINQ Promenade

O’Sheas on the LINQ Promenade

An Irish inspiration isn’t all they’ve got going for them, though. The 50 types of beer, table games, beer pong tournaments, live entertainment and outdoor games keep the spirit alive. Don’t forget the delicious pub menu and unique drink specials to share and enjoy with friends into the night.

CLICK HERE to register today for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Or CLICK HERE for more info about the Summit!

Certified Instructors: How to Recertify at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

April 2nd, 2015 by

Register for the Certified Instructor Track:

Learn how to View the Best Practice Sessions on Your Track and How to Customize your Schedule:

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: The Jersey Boys

March 31st, 2015 by

Have you registered for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas, NV (June 1 – 5, 2015)? This column highlights some fun things to do after hours.


Vegas is known for amazing entertainment, and there are several awesome shows to choose from for a fun evening out during Summit Week.

Jersey Boys, Le Theatre Des Arts at Paris Las Vegas, is a true heart-wrenching off-broadway show that will leave you with tears of joy from such a sweet story. The story line isn’t the only highly reviewed aspect of the show, though,  the music and talented quartet are nothing short of exceptional. There’s a reason The Jersey Boys won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater in 2007 and four Tony Awards in the Musical category in 2006. If you’re in the mood to see true musical entertainment in the heart of The Strip, this one will not let you down.

Watch a sneak peek here!

And CLICK HERE to register today for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Or CLICK HERE for more info about the Summit!

PS – Want to learn more about shows going on during Summit Week? Check out Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil and Million Dollar Quartet!

Global TapRooT® Summit Trivia … Can You Answer These Questions?

March 30th, 2015 by


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1. Where was the first TapRooT® Summit (then called the TapRooT® Conference) held?

a) Knoxville

b) Orlando

c) San Antonio

d) Gatlinburg

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2. How many TapRooT® Summits have been held since the first Summit?

a) 18

b) 15

c) 10

d) 6


3. In what year was the first TapRooT® Summit Held?

a) 1988

b) 1994

c) 1997

d) 2000


4. Who was presented with the “Most Beloved Speaker” Award?

a) Ed Skompski

b) Mark Paradies

c) Beverly Chiodo

d) ED Hill

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5. Counting this year, how many times has the Global TapRooT® Summit been held in Las Vegas?

a) 1

b) 3

c) 5

d) 7


6. Where was the largest (by attendance) Global TapRooT® Summit ever held?

a) Austin

b) London

c) Houston

d) Las Vegas


7. How was JR Ewing connected to the Global TapRooT® Summit?

a) He invented it.

b) People from his oil company always attend.

c) He was involved in a TapRooT® investigation.

d) A JR look alike attended the TapRooT® Summit reception in 1998 at the Southfork Ranch.


8. How many Summit Best Practice Tracks are there at this year’s Global TapRoot® Summit?

a) 4

b) 7

c) 9

d) 11


9. You can customize your Summit schedule by picking topics from different Best Practice Tracks.

a) True

b) False


10. Last years Global TapRooT® Summit was held in?

a) Las Vegas

b) Austin

c) Calgary

d) Orlando


Check the comments field below for the answers!

And don’t miss the 2015 Global TapRoot® Summit. For more information see:

What Pre-Summit Course Should You Attend?

March 26th, 2015 by

There are 15 potential Pre-Summit Courses to choose from in June and five of the courses are new. That’s probably why so many people are asking which course would be best for them. Therefore, I thought I’d share my thoughts to help people make the best choice.

First, the 15 Courses are:

Next, let me say that I like all these courses. I’ve hand-picked them to be included before the Summit because I think they will help you solve some of your biggest problems. But I understand that you can only attend one of these courses and that you want to pick the best one, so I’ll offer some advice.


If you haven’t attended a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course before, then you should consider attending the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course. This is the basic/starter TapRooT® Course that all investigators/root cause analysts should take. It will make the Summit much more valuable if you understand how the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System works. And it will help you perform much better investigations of safety, quality, and production issues. This course (like all Pre-Summit Courses) is completely guaranteed. We know that you and your management will agree that you will find root causes that you previously would have missed and develop much more effective corrective actions.


Need to improve equipment reliability and apply advanced equipment troubleshooting techniques? Then the Special 2-Day Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis Course is for you. You will learn to apply Heinz Bloch’s advanced troubleshooting techniques to understand how equipment failures occurred. You will then learn to take that information, organize it in a SnapCharT®, identify the Causal Factors, and find each Causal Factors root causes using the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®. Even equipment troubleshooting experts that have attended this course have commented on the helpfulness of the Heinz Bloch troubleshooting tables and the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System.


Want to improve your TapRoot® Skills, especially your ability to identify Causal Factors? Then the Advanced Causal Factor Development Course is for you. Ken Turnbull teaches this course using recent examples of accidents, incidents, and near-misses – some straight from the press. You will get lot’s of hands-on exercise practice and instructor feedback.


Do you need to learn to trend your safety and performance data? Especially data from infrequently occurring accident statistics? Would you like to prove that you have improved performance? Or do you need to mathematically demonstrate that a “trend” really isn’t a trend, but rather, is just normal process variation? That’s what the Advanced Trending Techniques Course is all about. I developed after I saw a client’s advanced trending best practices that blew me away. This was trending that really worked and showed when a trend was real and when it was just normal process variation. It was based on advanced lean/six sigma techniques that were specially modified for low frequency accident data. But the same techniques can be applied to all your data. It truly is a one size fits all trending program that will help your management focus their improvement initiative. In the course you will learn how to draw advanced graphs and practice your skills so that you can apply the techniques to your data back home. The course is taught by Kevin McManus, a quality/safety guru, and I know that you will find it enlightening and very useful.

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The topic of Safety Culture is a hot button in the nuclear, oil, and aviation industry. If you would like to analyze and improve your safety culture, then the TapRooT® Analyzing and Fixing Safety Culture Issues Course is for you. Brian Tink and Brian Tink (Jr & Sr) will show you how to use TapRooT® Tools along with culture analysis tools to analyze and fix safety culture issues. Part of this course is a practice safety culture analysis for your company. If safety culture is a hot button topic at your company, don’t miss this course.

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Interested in risk assessment and management? Want to learn about the latest international standards and how they can help keep your management out of trouble? Then you need to listen to risk management guru Jim Whiting in his course: Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices. Jim shares all the latest risk management techniques and tons of documentation that you will use when you return to work


Interested in applying advanced root cause analysis techniques in a Lean, Six Sigma, or Quality program? Then attend the TapRooT® Quality/Six Sigma/Lean Advanced Root Cause Analysis Training taught by Chris Vallee. Chris is a Six Sigma Black Belt. He will show you how to use TapRooT® Techniques to analyze and fix quality problems, lean waste issues, and problems discovered using Six Sigma techniques.

IMG 2671

Do you provide technical support for the TapRooT® Software? Are you a TapRooT® Software “Power Users” who wants to learn the latest tricks and see the latest software updates? Are you interested in the changes coming in Version 6 of the TapRooT® Software. Are you responsible for setting up the TapRoot® Software and preparing the trending fields and linking the software to other databases? Then you want to attend the Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software Course taught by Dan VerLinde, VP for Software Development at SI. You will be amazed how much you learn and how much better your software usage will be.

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What is a hazard? Do you see them before they can cause an accident? If you are interested in Hazard recognition and elimination, then the Hazard Recognition Course is for you. Peter Berkholtz, a TapRoot® Instructor from Australia with 25 years of mining and industrial experience, will teach this practical course. Don’t let hazards sneak up on you. Recognize and eliminate them!


Did you know you could use the TapRooT® System to solve problems before they cause a crisis? If you want to stop problems BEFORE they happen, then the Proactive Use of TapRooT® Course is for you! Dave Janney developed this course after realizing that people would rather stop fatalities before they happen rather than investigate fatalities after they happen. He explains how TapRooT® can be applied to improve auditing, observations and BBS, and pre-job hazard assessments. Learn new ways to apply the TapRoot® System to proactively improve performance at your facility.

And now for the new courses …

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Interviewing and Investigation Basics: We’ve taught this course before but after we had so many positive comments about Barbara Phillips talk on Body language and interviewing at last year’s TapRooT® Summit, we decided to completely revise the course adding new material on interviewing, I think you will find this course to be engaging, useful, practical, and a good use of your time if you are interested in effective cognitive interview and non-verbal techniques and the tools and practices needed to collect information for an effective root cause analysis.


Combating Fatigue: fatigue in the workplace (and while driving) is one of the most frequent, and least investigated, causes of accidents. Studies of actual auto accidents that were video tapped inside the car for later analysis showed that actual fatigue and sleeping was often NEVER reported but was the cause of the accident. What can you do to fight fatigue at your company? Get great ideas from fatigue expert Bill Sirois. Learn to understand the risks of fatigue. Learn the five levels of defense against fatigue. Learn to build and improve a Fatigue Risk Management System (required in several industries). Understand specific methods to handle fatigue in high hazard industries. This course has been completely updated since it was last given before the 2012 Summit and we see it as completely new.

P1030850 JoelTeaching

Understanding and Stopping Human Error: Mark Paradies, President of System Improvements and Joel Haight, Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburg, will bring their considerable knowledge of the practical application of human factors engineering to this newly developed course. The course will cover the human abilities and limitations that lead to human error, how to understand error likely situations and error causing designs, and how to apply error reducing techniques that work and to understand why some error reducing techniques that are frequently suggested are of little practical value. If you are interested in human performance and stopping human error (or at least reducing it as far as practical), then don’t miss this course.

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Root Cause Analysis for Sentinel Events & Healthcare Quality Improvement: Ed Skompski, Vice President at System Improvements, has created a 2-Day TapRooT® Course especially for the healthcare community that focuses on the analysis of the root causes of sentinell events and healthcare quality issues. The course is built around real clinical events and uses the TapRooT® System, a recognized good practice in the healthcare industry and that the terminology is recognized by The Joint Commission.

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Creative Corrective Actions: You may remember this course from the past. Michele Lindsay was a TapRooT® Instructor for over a decade. But she now is a performance improvement coach at a healthcare facility. But this year she will be coming back to the TapRooT® Summit and is presenting a new course on creative corrective actions using Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats™ techniques.

That’s a lot of training to choose from! But don’t wait too long to register. Seats are limited in these courses and we want you to get your first choice!

Additionally, you get a $200 discount on the training when you also attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. For more Summit info, see:

And if you have any questions about the Pre-Summit Courses or the Summit, please call us at 865-539-2139. Or CLICK HERE to drop us a note with your question.

How to Navigate our Online Schedule for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

March 25th, 2015 by

The hardest thing about registering for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit (June 1-5, 2015, Las Vegas) is deciding which best practices sessions to sign up for among all the great options. This video will help you navigate our online schedule so that you can begin thinking about it before you go through the actual registration process. The video also gives a couple of tips about how to modify your schedule during the registration process.  If you need assistance, please contact us at

Here is the link to the schedule page:

Southlake Hospital Staff Lives Their Values

March 24th, 2015 by

Michele Lindsay, President of Performance Potential Inc. and member of the Quality and Risk Department at Southlake Hospital recently shared this awesome video with us. Join Michele at the Global TapRooT® Summit June 1 and 2 for her exclusive 2-Day Creative Corrective Actions Course and sign up for the Improving Healthcare and Patient Quality track June 3 – 5 to attend her best practice session, RCA of Multiple Events, which is a case study of performing root cause analysis on several incidents that appear to be related. Take the opportunity to learn from many incidents that may not trigger a root cause analysis on their own, but collectively provide significant insights into process and system weaknesses so effective corrective actions can be put in place.

Hope you enjoy the video! Learn more about the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit at:

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil

March 24th, 2015 by

Have you registered for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015 in Las Vegas Nevada? This column is to help you plan for some fun things to do after hours.

Thrilling, funny and non-stop action are words I’d use to describe Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil. Below are a couple of clips from the performance I attended that demonstrate the complexity and beauty of the set, and the heartwarming cast.

ARIA Resort and Casino is hosting this awe-inspiring show filled with 70 world class acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, high wire and trapeze artists.

The theme for Zarkana is an extraordinary circus coming alive in an old abandoned theater. You can just imagine the excitement and entertainment the performers can bring to life with a theme like that. The NY Post calls it an “ideal choice” when it comes to the world of Cirque du Soleil.

If you enjoy the heartstopping acts in a “traditional” circus, you will love Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil.  It offers tradition plus an extra dose of magic that will leave you feeling awestruck!

Get your tickets here:

Register for the Summit and pre-Summit here:

And learn more about the Summit here:

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar in The LINQ

March 17th, 2015 by

Have you registered for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas, NV (June 1 – 5, 2015)? This column highlights some fun things to do after hours.

We’ve all heard about the famous chef and host of the popular show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri. His expertise and creativity comes to life in his new Vegas kitchen and bar located in The LINQ Hotel and Casino.

Some of the favorites are the Triple-T Fries, Bacon Mac-N-Cheese burger and the homemade Mexican Churros.

When we went for our site visit, even though the Chicken Fried Bacon Biscuits & Gravy sounded like something that would knock my cholesterol off the charts, I had to try it.  It was so worth it!

A M A Z I N G!  

If you like bacon, and you like fried chicken you will LOVE chicken fried bacon.

One review said each menu item is served like an “edible masterpiece” so if that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will.

With it being being within walking distance from the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel where the Summit will be held, it’s a must-visit.  But if you decide to walk over there, don’t forget to invite me!!

REGISTER TODAY for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

LEARN MORE on the Summit website!

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