discover and manage
Mindful infrastucture for high reliability
Copyright © 2013 The Rapid Response Institure. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted from Weicket al. (2008). Organizing for High Reliability Sage.
Source: Holland and Shemwell (2014) provided with permission.
24 Winter 2014 | FOR JOB OPPORTUNITIES, VISIT www.PennEnergyJOBS.com | EnergyWorkforce
Moreover, the relationship between orga-
nizational culture and High Reliability
has been known for some time.
Humans are now managing systems
that are more complex than they are
able to “sense and anticipate problems
generated by those systems.” Known as
requisite variety, is can be defined as,
“the variety that exists in the system to
be managed exceeds the variety in the
people who must regulate it.” 8
Collective requisite variety is a function of the level of trust and interaction
a group has with each other. It is maximized when, “each person so behaves
as to be in his turn a valid dependable
model for the others. Each acts both a
model and observer.” 9 As subsequently
developed, this meets the test of organizational culture.
Culture of Safety
In May 2013, BSEE issued its Final Safe-
ty Culture Policy Statement that con-
tained nine characteristics of a “robust
• Leadership Commitment to Safety
Values and Actions
•Hazard Identification and Risk
• Personal Accountability
• Work Processes
• Continuous Improvement
• Environment for Raising Concerns
• Effective Safety and Environmen-
• Respectful Work Environment
• Inquiring Attitude
BSEE defines a characteristic as
a “pattern of thinking, feeling, and
behaving that emphasizes safety, par-
ticularly in situations that may have
conflicting goals.” 10 Moreover, accord-
ing to former BSEE Director James A.
Watson, these characteristics are rooted in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) policy changes following the 1979 Three Mile Island partial
The challenge many still face is developing an understanding and implementation plan for a Culture of Safety for
MY company. Organizational culture
is a critical component of competitive
advantage and is in fact who the company is and the way it behaves.
Therefore, each is different and the
industry will not develop a Culture of
Safety but thousands of Cultures of Safety, each unique yet under the umbrella
of the tenets set forth by BSEE. Additional tools are available to assess management transform their organization
as necessary to meet these new realities.
One example is a self-assessment guide-
line available online. 12