Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Being Mindful of HRO

How mindful is your agency or crew?

It has been a while since we touched upon the concept of high reliability organizations (HROs) and with the fire season upon us, new as well as returning wildland firefighters should use this opportunity to touch upon HROs. An article by Keith Hammonds on Fast titled "5 Habits of Highly Reliable Organizations" provides leaders with an easy-to-understand tool with which to brief their crews.

Here are Hammond's twist on Karl Weick's five habits of highly reliable organizations:

  1. Don't be tricked by your success. Be preoccupied by your failures.
  2. Defer to your experts on the front line.
  3. Let the unexpected circumstances provide your solution.
  4. Embrace complexity.
  5. Anticipate--but also anticipate your limits.

Hammond provides examples that all levels of your fire organization will understand as well as a short quiz to gauge the mindfulness of your organization.

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