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S3-E11: A case of the missing Brussels sprouts

WARNING: This episode discusses a fatality.

The team lament the phenomenon of media reporting in an article about the public strain caused by grocery delivery delays. The cause of the delays was a fatality in a national grocer’s distribution and warehouse centre. “It’s not about the Brussels sprouts,” says Alan. Trajce is infuriated, “What about the fatality?” he asks, “I’ve read far too many victim impact statements to take any of this lightly.” Sara presents the idea of a High Reliability Organisation which is characterised by a preoccupation with failure, a reluctance to simplify, sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, and deference to the right expertise at the right time that it is needed. She contends that organisations often rationalise their comfort with average performance by linking their readiness to a mid-par rank on an arbitrary maturity scale. Sara advocates for “think great, act great now,” by recognising that there are emergent properties of adaptive systems and organisations can leapfrog past complacency and jump into great projects or far more improved systems with the right framework and orientation to success through human factors approaches.