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What is a High-Reliability Organization (HRO)? | AGLX Consulting

What is a High-Reliability Organization (HRO)? | AGLX Consulting


>>BRIAN RIVERA: So this comes to our, our thesis for tonight. And the big picture for us is – hey, to
excel in today’s VUCA environment, we need to build networks of high-performing teams. The way we’re going to do this, is we’re
going to look outside, learn from others, and namely, look at High-Reliability Organizations. So what is an HRO? Well, I gave you a hint earlier, it’s an
aircraft carrier – just one. Anybody have any other ideas? What is an HRO?>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hospital.>>BRIAN RIVERA: Hospital. Anything else? Submarines. Nuke power plants.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible comment]>>BRIAN RIVERA: Nuke power. Yeah. Yes. Submarines are HROs. Anything else? Mining.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Not my office.>>BRIAN RIVERA: What’s that?>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Not my office.>>BRIAN RIVERA: We’ll get to that in a
second, actually. This is going to be fun. So, the great thing about HRO, HROs is, is that they’re not error-free. So let’s talk about our world – what a
non-HRO is. And we generally look at them as organizations that focus on success. Alright. Anybody do that? Get really excited about success? How about this? The – the focus on efficiency. How many times do we hear that in our world? We need to be more efficient. Alright. How many people attend meetings and get nothing done? Ok, that’s a non-HRO right there, right? Episodic learning. Another big one. And this is kind of interesting. And I’m going to talk about Toyota for a
moment. Toyota is a great company. They have TPS, they’re great at Lean. But, they’re a non-HRO. A couple years ago they had a little problem with their brakes, I believe, right? Their customers were trying to tell them there was something wrong and they didn’t listen. They, they believed in the process, the process is right, and I’m not going to listen to, you know, our customers. They ran into some problems. And over here, a company called Volkswagon. Anybody familiar with what happened with them recently? Ok, same thing. Lehman Brothers. WaMu, for those of us that work – live up
here in Washington. And then about two weeks ago I was flying around the country and, this hit me. So, what’s interesting is airlines happen
to be HROs. Their IT shops are not. Ok. How could that be? So, it actually sucks when you’re traveling
around the country and your plane won’t take off because tech failed, right? And then Windows VISTA? Enough said. So this leads us to, lead us to – what is
an HRO? The characteristics of them. Right there. Learning organization, strategy of redundancy, decisions are pushed down to the edge, alright, and shared goals across the organization. I do this all the time, I was with an executive the other day and I asked him to have his executive team write down what their objectives are – what are the objectives of the organization? They couldn’t do it. Alright? And you can do this in the C-Suite and they can’t do it, and you can do it in a retrospective, and go, “What is it you are trying to do?”
and, of course, they go, “Oh, 10 stories, 45 points, or whatever.” No, that’s not what you’re trying to do,
the outcome you’re trying to achieve. What is the shared outcome? HROs are fantastic with this. Anybody know what this is right here?>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible response]>>BRIAN RIVERA: Not the type of aircraft. But which company that is?>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Amazon>>BRIAN RIVERA: Amazon. Yeah, so they’re flying now, and I would
say they’re the closest thing to an HRO out there, when it comes to, the type of work they’re doing. So there are five principles of HROs, ok. Three of them are for anticipation – remember that word, we saw it earlier. And two are for containment. Preoccupied with failure. Reluctance to simplify. Sensitivity to operations. Commitment to resilience. Deference to expertise. www.aglx.consulting

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