As a professional safety consultant, I get to go to all kinds of jobsites and see firsthand how many different work processes occur. Innocently, I often ask supervisors why a process is being done a certain way, and I am usually met with one of two very defensive answers: “This is how we have always done it!”, or “We have never had an accident doing it this way!”.
One thing that I've learned about organizational safety is that if a company assumes that the future will be exactly like the past, there are bound to be problems. It’s easy to fall into this way of thinking, after all, we usually believe what we see. I'm reminded of the ‘Great Turkey Fallacy’ whenever this situation arises.
On a hypothetical farm, there are two kinds of poultry - chickens and turkeys. They live separately, but can see each other’s pens. The turkeys live very privileged and pampered existences. They are fed regularly and allowed to mature and get plump. The only down-side to life, is they must endure the horrible sight and sounds of the common chickens being removed one by one, day after day, never to return.
The turkeys feel safe - after all, they're not chickens, and no turkeys have ever been seen being removed by the farmer. This routine carries on 100, 200, 300 days...but in late October, something changes for the turkeys.
The story illustrates that a good track record does not necessarily mean anything. If your company has been doing something the same way for a long time it’s possible that your proverbial Thanksgiving Day is on the horizon. Take the time to look at your common practices and see if they make sense, you just might save your organization’s neck!
It's a New Year. That time when the gym gets packed due to all the fitness resolutions that people make. As I was working out this morning, this new (and likely temporary) population around me got me thinking about how arbitrary our resolutions can be.
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The blog title may sound more like a category on the game show, Jeopardy, than a training-related topic, but humor me. Growing up playing sports, one of the things I learned was that the more I practiced, the more muscle memory I developed. Athletes who practiced often and mastered their sport, made remarkable strides.
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Have you ever experienced frequency illusion? An example of frequency illusion, is when you buy a new car, and you suddenly see the same car everywhere - or when a pregnant woman suddenly notices...