High Reliability Organising (HRO)
High Reliability Organisations (HRO’s) are organisations that operate in complex, high – hazard domains for extended periods without serious or catastrophic failures. When we analyse their organisational behaviour we see very specific and distinguishable traits and modes of operation which make them very different and unique, such as:
PREOCCUPATION WITH FAILURE RATHER THAN SUCCESSES
HRO Organisations know very well that silence does not equal safety and the key to success is trough specific culture of reporting and constant hunting for key signs of upcoming problems
RELUCTANCE TO SIMPLIFY
High Reliability Organizations are complex by definition and they accept and embrace that complexity. HROs do not explain away problems; instead they have key risk management experts, measure right and innovative things for safety and reliability and invest in analysis of key data. The have deeply rooted culture of transparency and ability to constructively criticise itself and in turn enable organisational learning necessary for its survival, high reliability and extraordinary low incident losses.
SENSITIVITY TO OPERATIONS
HROs understand that the best picture of the current situation, especially an unexpected one, comes from the front line. Because front line employees are closer to the work than executive leadership, they are better positioned to recognize failure and identify opportunities for improvement. HRO’s have an unique lines of reporting, accountability and extraordinary leadership
COMMITMENT TO RESILIENCE
Resilience in HROs means the ability to know the risks, map and test critical controls, anticipate trouble spots and ensure key redundancies are in place to regain control when it is lost or about to be lost. HRO’s personnel is highly trained and able to improvise in highly skilled fashion when the unexpected occurs.
DEFERENCE TO EXPERTISE
Expertise, rather than authority, takes precedence in an HRO. When conditions are high-risk and circumstances change rapidly, on-the-ground subject matter experts are essential for urgent situational assessment and response.
In many mainstream industries today, there are perceptions that high reliability organising (HRO) is something reserved for nuclear, aviation, military or other similar ‘ultra – high’ risk environments. There are beliefs that becoming or even embarking on this journey requires high expenditure, extreme difficulty and great safety record.
This is simply not the case. Every organisation regardless of the industry or cultural stage can embark on the HRO journey and benefit from the lessons learned from HRO's, in many cases almost immediately, under right guidance and support.
High Reliability Organising incorporates innovative approaches in management of safety, risks, and key operational processes, to deliver new edge in high business performance. Start your journey today.
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