May 15, 2023 | Mark Paradies

General Lessons From the 2023 Summit

Summit networking

Some Things Never Change

Every year, some of the lessons I learn at the Summit are repeats. Just because they are repeated lessons doesn’t mean they aren’t important. I think of them as reinforcement of important lessons learned.

Read the following sections about lessons relearned at the 2023 Summit and see if you agree…

Specific Lessons Learned That I Have Learned Before

USS Fitzgerald

1. When major accidents happen that grab newspaper headlines, organizations protect themselves.

How many times have we seen accidents where big companies or the military throw the people at the pointy end of the stick under the bus to protect the corporate reputation?

Do you remember the talks at previous Summits by:

  • Vice Admiral Aucoin
  • Marcus Miller
  • Pharmacist Eric Cropp
  • Lt Col Hayles, and
  • Mike Willams (from the Deepwater Horizon) interview with Mark Paradies
IMG 7338
Mark Paradies interviewing Mike Williams about his Deepwater Horizon experience.

This year RaDonda Vaught explained her mistake, a fatal misapplication of medication, and the aftermath, a criminal prosecution.

RaDonda Vaught

LESSON LEARNED: These stories always reinforce the lesson that we MUST learn from smaller incidents to prevent major accidents. Major accidents, with the potential for criminal prosecution, pose high hurdles for the investigator and the company when it comes to openly sharing what happened and taking responsibility for changing the system.

2. I wish I could attend every session in every track.

There were many outstanding sessions that people told me about (and that I wanted to attend) but that I couldn’t go to because I was in another session.

LESSON LEARNED: Bring several people from your facility/company to cover all the applicable sessions that your company needs to learn from. I’ve even seen two people attend the same session and come away with different, important lessons learned.

3. Come early and stay late.

The pre-Summit Courses are great learning opportunities. We are planning the courses for next year, and there will be several new ones. But every course is packed with important information. Watch for our announcement of the pre-Summit Courses and register early to make sure that you get your first pick.

But there was something else. I also learned lessons at breakfast and after hours talking to other participants.

Finally, there were very interesting and inspiring talks on Friday. I found Frank Abagnale’s talk about fraud and security very interesting.

Frank Abagnale

LESSON LEARNED: Attend a pre-Summit Course and plan your travel to stay until the final speaker has finished. Heck, you may even want to stay at the resort for the weekend after the Summit to relax and let your new ideas soak in.

4. People love to share best practices.

There were 19 sessions that allowed best practice sharing in the seven Best Practice Tracks at the Summit. These were some of the highest-rated sessions of the Summit because the caliber of the participants/speakers at the Summit is so exceptional.

LESSON LEARNED: Plan to attend several best practice sharing sessions and take the lessons you learn back to your company to improve performance

5. People love to be inspired.

Speakers that inspire are always highly rated.  Garrison Wynn, Barb Carr, and RaDonda Vaught inspired Summit attendees to make a difference when they returned to work. And we are planning for several inspiring speakers at the 2024 Global TapRooT® Summit. I can hardly wait.

LESSON LEARNED: Everyone needs the inspiration to make improvements happen, and you can be inspired at the Global TapRooT® Summit.

6. A hot room for one is a cold room for another.

Temperature is an individual preference. Some like it Hot. Some like it COLD!

LESSON LEARNED: Bring a coat or a sweater if you tend to feel cold (even in Texas).

Reinforced Lessons Learned

Here are other lessons I already knew but were reinforced at the 2023 Global TapRooT® Summit:

1. We have great clients that are industry leaders.

I’m always impressed by the discussions we have and how willing participants are to share their best practices.

2. I have a great staff that knows what they are doing, plans well, and handles unexpected changes with panache (style, grace, and a flair for excellence).

Every year I’m impressed with how well the Global TapRooT® Summit is planned and executed. Participants appreciate the professionalism and preparation of our staff. Thanks, everyone!

The System Improvements Staff at the 2023 Global TapRooT® Summit Reception

3. Even the best in any industry can learn from others.

Even the best companies can improve. That’s why we created the Global TapRooT® Summit. To help everyone, even the best, improve.

But there is something else. Even companies with the most to learn have best practices that others can learn from. And some of the most eye-opening lessons come from outside your industry (if you can translate from other industry’s terminology to yours).

4. Having a good time and learning are not mutually exclusive activities.

Fun and learning go hand in hand. If you think that learning needs to be painful, you need to attend the Summit and see how fun learning can be!

5. TapRooT® RCA really is an exceptional root cause analysis tool that is changing the way the world solves problems.

LESSON LEARNED: EVERY facility and company that uses TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis should have someone at the Global TapRooT® Summit. We guarantee that what you learn will produce a return on investment at least 10 X the cost of your attendance, or you get your registration fee back. So start planning to attend in 2024!

Where will the 2024 Global TapRooT® Summit be held? Near Austin, Texas, at the Horseshoe Bay Resort.

Horseshoe Bay Resort near Austin, Texas
The Horseshoe Bay Resort

When will the Summit be held? The pre-Summit Courses are on April 29-30. The Summit is on May 1-3.


Watch for the website to open (we are in the planning phase now), and then get approval, register early, and plan your travel.

I guarantee you will enjoy the experience and take valuable lessons back to work.

2024 Summit
Root Cause Analysis
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