Here we bring you the first in a series of videos taken from the June HSE Virtual Series. Todd Conklin is a well-known name in health and safety and here Todd talks about what organisations can do to improve their systems going forward through the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond that Todd also touches on some of the non-resilience models that many organisations might be unknowingly implementing in their businesses.
About Todd Conklin
Those within the health and safety field will be familiar with the work that Todd has done on improving the profession over the years. In addition to his professional experience within health and safety, Todd also runs the PreAccident investigation Podcast and has had a number of fantastic guests on board. We are privileged to have Todd as one of the content ambassadors for the HSE Network.
Now, bouncing forward is a really interesting idea. So I’m going to share my screen really quickly and show you a couple of slides. I’m going to start with this one, not that it’s earth-shattering, because I’m not sure it’s earth-shattering. But this idea of bouncing forward is really an important idea, and I’m going to use a model that I’m going to start with and then come back to at the end of my presentation.
So this first slide, I’ve just entitled it a non-resilience model. So that’s where you have a plan, you’re working the plan, an event happens, and it absolutely destroys the system. The system itself has no ability to accept the capacity, and the system fails catastrophically.
And that idea is really important because one of the things we’re being asked to do is really redefine our notion of what failure is and understand how we build systems that have the potential to recover, to “gracefully stand,” if I can quote David Woods. And that really sets up this first model.
Sort of memorizing, you can have the slide. It’s my amazing crafty work. This is what I can do with PowerPoint. Yeah, I know, I’m bragging a little bit. Isn’t that amazing? That first slide sort of sets the stage from where we were. This conversation, I think, I want to talk to you about where we’re going.
And to get there, I want to make some observations, and there aren’t very many of them. I only have five. But these are the five observations that I’ve dealt with and talked about and thought about. This is what the crisis has taught us. And I’m going to drain this slide pretty fast because we’ll talk about each one of these individually.
Number one, our systems, by definition, are brittle. That’s important to know and is going to make a big part of our ability to bounce forward knowing that. Two, anticipation is not seen as a legitimate strategy. Three, we have not applied lessons learned from the past. Four, there’s a loss of reciprocity.
And we’ll talk about that word because that’s an important word for us to talk about. And then finally, learning and adaption are the fundamentals that we need to have necessary to build capacity. So these are, in fact, I think, the five lessons among the thousands and thousands of lessons this has taught us.
These are the five lessons that I think are most important for us to think about as we look at really organizational resilience, how humans perform in a system and safety, the things we do for a living.