Friday, February 13, 2009

At Sea

I am at sea again. I have not had time to do a proper post.

I have been reading "Managing the Unexpected".

The focus of the book is what it calls High Reliable Organizations (HROs). It seems to be written so that someone who manages a business can grasp the mindset of successful organizations in dynamic situations such as fire fighters and crews of aircraft carriers. I think, for the most part, I already have that mindset. The benefit of the book is that it is useful in "providing a new language and conceptual structure" (to quote the back cover) when attempting to communicate that mindset. Here is an example: - this includes a quote from the book "Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents" by James Reason.

"Safe, reliable performance "is a dynamic non-event - what produces the stable outcome is constant change rather then continuous repetition. To achieve this stability, a change in one system parameter must be compensated for by change in other parameters"

If that rings true, you might like the book, its tough to understand in places. It reminds me somewhat of Col. John Boyd's work. One of the people who gave Boyd credit for their ideas (belatedly) is Tom Peters, the author of In Search of Excellence. Peters also has a quote on the back cover.

I'll be posting infrequently; I am on a different ship (same type, class age and size) the run has changed somewhat - I've been busy getting familiarized with the ship and the demands of the run.

K.C.

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