Dr Jake Mazulewicz on Human Reliability

Dr Jake Mazulewicz on Human Reliability
27 nov 2023 · 1 h 11 min. 28 sec.

What do you think of when you hear the word 'error'? It's highly likely you'll think of it negatively as a defect. The obvious way to manage defects, particularly in...

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What do you think of when you hear the word 'error'? It's highly likely you'll think of it negatively as a defect. The obvious way to manage defects, particularly in safety-critical industries, is to have detailed procedures, strict compliance, and zero tolerance for errors. But we know that this doesn't always work. After all, if it did, we'd have far fewer errors.

My guest on this episode takes a different approach. He specializes in helping organizations, particularly safety-critical ones where the cost of getting something wrong can be death or injury, to reduce errors, improve safety and build trust. He calls this human reliability. His name is Dr. Jake Mazulewicz, and he's been a firefighter, an emergency medical technician and a military paratrooper.

Nowadays, he brings all of those experiences to bear in helping organizations design processes and cultures that allow humans to manage the complexities that don't always allow themselves to be neatly codified into standard procedures. As you'll hear, he's got some fascinating ideas about designing safety models that flex to meet the situation's needs.

Key Moments In The Show (mins:secs)



02:14 — Dr. Jake’s background

05:25 — Mechanistic vs. Adaptive systems

06:28 — The big problem: too many leaders treat ALL systems as Mechanistic systems

09:10 — What to say to a commercial pilot when you’re walking off their aircraft after the flight lands

10:40 — Four work guidance modes

11:00 — 1) Procedures

11:53 — 2) Guidelines like, “To find out what an organization values, follow the money."

13:00 — 3) Principles like “A jury doesn’t decide what to believe. A jury decides who to believe."

21:20 — 4) Tacit KnowledgeYou can solve complex problems, but can’t explain how

26:40 — “All models are wrong, but some of them are useful.”

31:10 — How one team of electricians dramatically improved safety by using FEWER procedures

35:57 — Letter of the law vs. spirit of the law

38:20 — Have you heard of Philip K. Howard?... "Let’s pretend I haven’t.”

42:10 — We write rules when we don’t have enough trust

44:55 — Build trust by overcommunicating your intentions

45:25 — “Commander’s Intent” in military mission plans

47:55 — Listen for "Weak Signals" like hearing, “I’ll do whatever it takes…"

50:40 — Stay resilient by catching a system before it goes “exponential”

54:00 — Chris Argyris’ 17-word, 4-step recipe for creating a toxic work culture

57:10— A new Early Warning System

58:20 — Ask an expert, “What’s a 'Weak Signal' in your field, and what does it mean?”

1:04:55 — Why a non-punitive approach is so helpful and so uncommon

1:10:10 — How to get in touch with Dr. Jake — reliableorg.com

Further Information
To find out more about Praxtical Human Performance For Leaders visit www.reliableorg.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jake-mazulewicz/
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