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  • Writer's pictureJake Mazulewicz, Ph.D.

Three Core Strategies of HPI

Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is an interdisciplinary field that's still evolving.

Some HPI experts tell us to reduce human errors. Others warn us to stop focusing on the “humans.” Still others argue that “errors” don’t exist at all.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone.

Many years ago, I dove deep into the most advanced research I could find on:

  • Human Performance Improvement (HPI)

  • High Reliability Organizations / Organizing (HRO)

  • Resilience Engineering (RE)

I was surprised to see that many of the strategies recommended by the top thought leaders in the world seem to conflict with each other… Sometimes dramatically.

The more I read, the more I decided that either:

  1. These people are all crazy

  2. There is method to this madness and a pattern underneath all this chaos… I just hadn't found it yet.

The jury is still out on #1. :)

But I used some basic principles of Qualitative Research to reveal a pattern that helped me finally make sense of all the apparently conflicting recommendations in HPI, HRO, RE or the general field of “Error Studies" as Kathryn Schulz calls it.

Here's the pattern I found...

Three Strategies for Managing Human and Organizational Errors:

  1. Apply Defenses

  2. Improve Processes

  3. Build Resilience

Some of those leaders, teams, and organizations evolve to use strategies 1 and 2.

And a few of them evolve to use all three strategies.

I hope it's helpful to you.

~ Jake


PS -- If not, then here's a cool flyboard video just for making it to the end of this post. :)

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