the risk management blog

byLowers & Associates | October 05, 2017

One of the most common descriptions of the High Reliability Organization (HRO) is that it is “resilient.” Here is how the Oxford English Dictionary defines resilient: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The ability of a substance…

byLowers & Associates | September 27, 2017

  The very first sentence in Weick and Sutcliffe’s important book about High Reliability Organizations (HROs) is “Nonobvious breakdowns happen all the time.”[1] A “breakdown” is a failure. The first of five principles of HROs they discuss is the…

byLowers & Associates | September 21, 2017

  The High Reliability Organization (HRO) is an irresistible topic. How can any organization (like an aircraft carrier) or organized system (like American commercial aviation) operate in a totally threat-filled environment without frequent catastrophic failure? How can any organization…

byLowers & Associates | September 19, 2017

High Reliability Organizations (HROs) achieve such a status through persistent and detailed efforts to improve outcomes, even seeking “perfect reliability.” But, how do you get there from where you are? Chassin and Loeb, writing about healthcare, have summarized the…

byLowers & Associates | September 13, 2017

  A High Reliability Organization (HRO) is one that achieves desired outcomes consistently, despite operating in a highly complex environment characterized by high risks. It learns from its failures, even those unanticipated, and uses them to improve over time….