Monday, April 2, 2012

World-class safety programs use "fresh eyes & high standards" - shouldn't you?

From "Blow-Ups Happen," part of the Economist's March 2012 special report on the future of nuclear power:

After Three Mile Island, the American Nuclear Industry set up its Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. INPO, headquartered in Atlanta, regularly inspects power plants, using its own staff as well as engineers from other operators, and offers lessons learned from mistakes throughout the industry so that all plants benefit from what happened at any one of them. INPO brings fresh eyes and high standards, and its reports can be scathing.

Let's set aside the question of whether even a world's best safety culture can make nuclear energy safe enough.  (The Economist report does a terrific job of wrestling with that question.)

Imagine that you are in a business that does not have the same risks. Would it not benefit you to, as INPO does, "offer lessons learned from mistakes" and "bring fresh eyes and high standards" to evaluating your own performance and the strengths and weaknesses of what you manage?

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