Many organisations are on a journey where it becomes willing to accept that errors do happen: practice is not perfect, risks have to be taken. This obviously clashes with a vision of zero-harm (which indeed is more of a vision than a realistic goal). A couple of things happen with a slavish commitment to zero-vision and the idea that errors do not happen:
– People will be motivated or incentivized to hide errors and their consequences. This creates shame and guilt and stigmatizes both error and those involved;
– All incidents, no matter how small and inevitable, were once likely to be investigated without regard to their relevance, impact or inevitability, potentially distracting and wasting resources that are better spent on deeply analysing “the incident of the month” for example;
– Learning and improvement can be eroded by a zero vision, as it is based on having nothing negative happen. With nothing happening, what is left to learn from? Resilient organizations do not focus on reducing backward-looking negative events, but on the positive, forward-looking capabilities of people and teams to recognize, adapt and absorb even those challenges that lie outside the predictable scope or design envelope.
The session explores,