February 4, 2013 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Fastest Way to Get Into Trouble

Deep, Dark Hole

This lesson learned is from a regulatory incident.

I remember talking to a nuclear industry VP who had a troubled plant (NRC regulatory issues). He said that he was blindsided by their problems. It was as if the day before, he was walking along on a beautiful day, and the next morning he woke up at the bottom of a deep dark hole. The change seemed almost instantaneous … without warning.

How does a leading company go from excellence to disaster? It isn’t that there weren’t warning signs. The signs were there, but management missed them.

The fastest way to get in trouble is to start thinking that you are so good that you don’t need to pay attention to small problems. That you can economize on improvement without experiencing performance improvement declines. That your cost-saving efforts will NOT lead to field personnel placing more emphasis on production and less on safety and quality.

The switch from a performance improvement focus to a cost-cutting focus can seem like a small change. A minor variation. But when the problems start – when you wake up at the bottom of the deep dark hole – you will say the same thing that the nuclear VP said:

If I’d known how bad
this was going to be,
I would have paid any
amount of money to avoid it.

Don’t find yourself at the bottom of the deep dark hole.

Keep your focus on performance improvement.

Learn best practices that others use to make their programs better every year.

Where can you learn these practices? At the Global TapRooT® Summit.

Get complete Summit info about the next Summit schedule at:


Remember, there is no time like the present to avoid a disaster!

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